A Victoria priest, who also runs a local hotel, has been awarded one of the top hotel industry awards in B.C. – Hotelier of the Year.
The Inn at Laurel Point’s general manager, Reverend Ian Powell, who has over 40 years of experience in the international hospitality industry, was given the honour for “displaying the management, leadership and communication skills at the highest levels of excellence along with a commitment to employees, community and the industry at large.”
The British Columbia Hotel Association recognized Powell Tuesday during the BC Hospitality Summit in Kelowna, B.C.
“I am deeply grateful for this recognition and clearly, I must be getting old,” says Powell “My path to the present has been quite the ride and I wouldn’t trade a single minute of it. I’m delighted I get to share my experience with the next generation of hotelier’s coming up the ranks.”
Beginning his studies in tourism and hospitality in England, Powell then came to Canada and, during his four-decade career, ran Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria and the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel in Bermuda.
A desire to become ordained into the Anglican Church of Canada brought Powell back from Bermuda to B.C. to start his theological studies at Vancouver School of Theology. He was ordained in November 2008.
Leading up to this additional career path, Powell joined Victoria based Paul’s Restaurants Ltd in 2006, becoming managing director of Paul’s Restaurants Ltd. and general manager of its flagship property, The Inn at Laurel Point.
“Mr. Powell’s hallmark laugh can regularly be heard echoing throughout our offices,” says Judy Elder, Powell’s long time Executive Assistant. “We have so enjoyed his leadership style and not to mention his hospitality and life experience which guides us all daily.”
Under Powell’s watch, the Inn at Laurel Point is currently undergoing a major renovation of its ground floor and surrounding gardens, with the goal of completing the original vision of the late Paul and Artie Arsens who commissioned world renowned architect Arthur Erickson for the hotel’s first renovation in 1989.
It has been Powell’s dream to see this through fruition before his retirement.
The project is set to be complete by summer.
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