Banff Aspen Lodge Claims Gold at the 2015 Banff Lake Louise Housekeeping Olympics
It may have been a picture perfect day for a BBQ in Banff National Park, but picknickers arriving at the 3rd Annual Housekeeping Olympics weren’t seeking the serenity of the mountain landscape: they were looking for gold - Olympic Gold.
There was an undeniable sense of competition in the air at Banff’s Fenlands Recreation Centre as 16 teams representing 16 different hotel properties gathered to ply their housekeeping skills in a 2-hour competition that would determine who would claim bragging rights to being the 2015 Banff Lake Louise Housekeeping Champions. Teams competed in five different timed events, which included: Mop Race, Bed Making, Towel Folding & Towel Art, Buffer Pad Toss and Vacuum Relay.
Says Darren Reeder, Executive Director, Banff Lake Louise Hotel Motel Association (BLLHMA), “This event has become very important to the community, particularly to our destination’s housekeepers. Housekeeping is hard work and it is vitally important to the visitor experience we promise our guests. It is a job that often doesn’t receive a high degree of recognition, which is why this event is so important. It is a way to say ‘Thank you!’ What you do each and every day matters to those around you.”
After an unprecedented tie for first place overall, Banff Aspen Lodge and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel squared-off in a very close, sudden death Executive Challenge that saw the Banff Aspen Lodge lay claim to the Gold Medal. Angel Santos, Executive Housekeeper with the Lodge, represented her team in the competition. She thoughtfully reflects on the win saying, “Teamwork is key to our success. Everyone participated, as a player, or a supporter or a cheerleader.”
Banff Aspen Lodge GM, Chris Barr echoes Angel’s sentiments, saying “Very proud of our Housekeeping team....seeing the smiling faces and fantastic energy is what our Banff Aspen Lodge team is all about.” The Fairmont Banff Springs Knights took Silver, and Bronze was awarded to first-time Olympics participants, the Banff Park Lodge’s “Dream Team.”
The Housekeeping Olympics may be a fun event intended to build community connections and camaraderie, but make no mistake - teams are there to make their property proud. Some hotels are known to practice the event routines several weeks to months in advance, with some reporting that they have dedicated practice areas within their hotel. Moreover, the costuming element becomes more prominent with each Olympics event - just about every team this year had their own team mascot.