Hotelier honoured

The company that owns Red Deer’s Holiday Inn Express and is building a new Holiday Inn hotel on the city’s southern outskirts has been recognized for its development work.

The company that owns Red Deer’s Holiday Inn Express and is building a new Holiday Inn hotel on the city’s southern outskirts has been recognized for its development work.

Zainul & Shazma Holdings (1997) Ltd. has been named InterContinental Hotels Group’s 2009 Americas Region Developer of the Year for Canada. The international hotel company represents seven brands, including Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, and has more than 4,400 hotels under its umbrella worldwide.

In addition to its Red Deer properties, Edmonton-based Zainul & Shazma Holdings operates the Holiday Inn Express in Rocky Mountain House, the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in Edson, and the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites and the Holiday Inn at Hinton.

Shazma Charania, the Red Deer-based director of operations for the company, and her father Afzal Rajan attended an InterContinental Hotels Group conference in Washington, D.C., last month, where the award was announced.

“We were thrilled,” said Charania, explaining that the award reflects development work completed recently by Zainul & Shazma Holdings. This included construction of new Holiday Inn Express outlets in Hinton and Edson, and major renovations to the Red Deer Holiday Inn Express and the Hinton Holiday Inn.

About 3,000 owners and operators of hotels within the InterContinental Hotels Group chain attended the Washington conference, she said, with Grammy Award winning singer Gladys Knight, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and David Gregory of NBC’s Meet the Press on hand.

Zainul & Shazma Holdings’ latest project, a 111-suite hotel on the east side of Hwy 2 in Gasoline Alley, is currently under construction. Charania expects work to resume in earnest in January, with completion anticipated by October.

The five-storey building will include a conference centre and banquet facilities, as well as a restaurant, lounge, waterslide and pool.

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