After beckoning Hwy 2 travellers for nearly three decades, Innisfail’s Highwayman Inn is adopting a new approach to attract customers.
The 30-room hotel is preparing to join the Super 8 chain, with the changeover expected next May or June, said owner Wondo Cho.
As part of the rebranding, the existing rooms in the premises will be renovated and 20 more added, said Cho. Work will also be done on the Highwayman Inn’s restaurant and lounge.
“We’ll have to renovate those too, to upgrade them to Super 8 levels.”
He added that financing for the work is being finalized.
“As soon as it’s finished, we’ll start right away.”
Cho said the trend in the hotel industry is toward branded properties, with independents becoming increasingly rare. His hotel’s affiliation with Super 8, including gaining access to the chain’s reservation system, should boost business, he said.
Cho said he was approached by Super 8 Hotels Inc. about adopting its banner. The Highwayman Inn is in a desirable location along Hwy 2 and has room for growth, he noted.
“We have over four acres of land here.”
The Highwayman Inn has operated since the early 1980s, said Cho, who has owned the business since 2007.
Super 8 Hotels Inc. is the world’s largest budget hotel chain, with outlets in Canada, the United States and now China. It is a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide, whose other brands include Ramada, Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Travelodge.