The Toronto-area hotel represents the international debut of Element® Hotels, Starwood’s eco-wise brand, which has gained a growing and loyal following, and is redefining the extended-stay market.
Built green from the ground up, Element Vaughan Southwest is a trailblazing 152-room hotel in Vaughan, Ontario, just outside Toronto. Its opening marks the beginning of a global expansion that will see the Element brand add to its global portfolio and enter key European and Asian markets over the next few years. These include new Element hotels in Vancouver and Frankfurt, slated to open in 2014; Suzhou, China in 2015; and Calgary in 2016.
The grand opening ceremony, attended by local dignitaries and invited guests, included remarks by Vaughan’s mayor, Maurizio Bevilacqua; Starwood executive Paige Francis, Vice President, Global Brand Management, Specialty Select Brands; John Caneco, General Manager of Element Vaughan Southwest; and Joseph Sgro, General Manager and Partner of ZZEN Group of Companies.
“We are thrilled to bring the Element Brand to Vaughan,” said Francis. “As Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to mandate that all hotels pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. With a thriving business community just minutes from the airport and convenient to downtown Toronto, Vaughan is the perfect choice to take the Element concept global.”
Caneco added, “Early guest feedback to the Element experience in Vaughan has been phenomenal. The Element brand consistently rivals the guest satisfaction index scores of Starwood’s luxury brands, and we’re on track to continue that tradition.”
At the end of remarks, a group of Starwood executives, Element hotel associates and invitees mounted bicycles, which were placed in bike generator stands. Their pedaling efforts generated enough electricity to power laptops and flat-screen plasma monitors to create a “virtual ribbon cutting” on screen. Demonstrating the potential for bicycle power, the event underscored Element’s commitment to pursuing LEED certification for each of its hotels.