Inn of Waterloo opens doors after closure

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The Waterloo Inn, a landmark that has been in Waterloo for over 40 years, will be opening its doors on Friday June 17 as the Inn of Waterloo.

The hotel and its property, located at 475 King St. N. in Waterloo, were bought by Drewlo Holdings Inc. last year.

Shortly after its doors closed last December, the property and building were leased to ABB Hotel Management Group.

Sharon Hales, president of ABB Hotel Management Group, explained how the management group made plans to make small renovations to the hotel in order to make the building more modern.

“The hotel just needs to be freshened up and updated,” said Hales.

Thus far, ABB Hotel Management Group has painted various hallways, the lobby and spaces surrounding the common areas. New flooring has been added, along with new linens and towels. As well, they have made some big changes to the furniture and have cleared up the courtyard.

Hales explained that modern hotel rooms are simple and minimalistic.

“When it comes to guest rooms, people look for certain things. They look for clean, comfortable rooms. They look for safety and security.”

A lot of the furniture and layout of the Inn’s guest rooms have been changed. Each room now has its own Keurig coffee maker, as well.

“For the ease of guests, we’ve added some ports near the bedsides for outlets and USB ports for charging and we have upgraded the Wi-Fi to a higher standard,” she said.

“Guests travel now with an iPad, phone, laptop and they want to be wireless. They don’t want any interruption in that.”

The Inn will also be serving a complimentary hot breakfast each morning for all guests.

The Inn hopes to lease the space where the previous Inn of Waterloo’s restaurant, Rushes, used to operate. Ideally, they would like to have a new restaurant use that space in the future.

In terms of employees, the Inn of Waterloo has hired approximately 12 individuals already. Hales said that almost half of those employed by the new Inn have worked in the hotel before.

“It’s sort of happening in phases. This is kind of phase one, then, as we go on and we open and operate some more, we’ll start completing other things,” said Hales.

Some of the next steps for the Inn’s renovations include more painting, more new furniture and a larger renovation in the meeting and ball rooms, which Hales hopes will enhance guests’ experience.

ABB Hotel Management Group was formed five years ago and works to assist various hotels with any operational needs.

The management group has extensive experience with the Best Western brand as they have either owned or have had share holder groups who have owned Best Westerns in the past.

Their management company currently manages two properties in Saskatchewan.

They also have shares and manage a Best Western in London, Ontario.

“I think people will be really impacted by the changes we’ve made so far,” stated Hales.

“It really is a landmark hotel in Waterloo. It’s an honour to be reviving it and bringing it back to life.”

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