Laura Sheppard

Current General Manager of Super 8, Stettler, Alberta

Laura Sheppard

I have been in the Hotel Industry for 15 years.
I have worked in 7 hotels in Canada + Internationally.
As a Hotelier, I have lived in 1 country other than Canada.

My first job/position in the hotel industry was a Night Housekeeper/Laundry

The number of times I have...

renovated a hotel: 1
removed a dead body: 1
escorted a guest off the property: 20
seen a ghost in a hotel: 1
kept “it” confidential: 100
driven a guest to the hospital: 3
dealt with an “Act of God”: 1
performed Housekeeping Duties (made beds, scrubbed toilets): 100
taken a sick day: 3

What does it take to be a GM?
Lots of patience, the ability to accept that some things are out of your control, lots of willpower, organizational skills, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. Day to day can be anything from paperwork, counselling, scrubbing toilets, laughing, crying, getting it all done, getting nothing done, and staying until all your staff members are okay for the day.

The three things I can’t live without are:
2-supportive staff,
3-supportive family.

My caffeine fix: Coffee.
Full pot at least. Sometimes mix in a little decaf just to ensure I don’t shake the walls down.

When I wake up, the first thing I think about is the drive to work (I live in the country). Then I think about the reports left from the previous day. *sigh*

The Hotelier (or person) that has inspired me the most.
The owner of a boutique hotel. They started off with borrowing money from all their relatives for their first hotel, and built a reputation as a tourism destination in the middle of nowhere. That takes determination.

My most embarrassing encounter with a hotel guest.
Full frontal nudity with 3 people in a guest room. No one felt the need to cover up and wanted coffee service. Awkward to say the least.

My most famous hotel guest was Laura Bush, and the bodyguards everywhere!

My most bizarre special request from a hotel guest: repairs to a pair of dentures.

Best CANADIAN hotel for a shopping trip:
Fantasyland Hotel Edmonton

Best CANADIAN hotel for business travel:
Fairmont Royal York Toronto

Best CANADIAN airport hotel:
Delta Calgary

Best CANADIAN Resort:
Banff Springs

Best technology innovation in hotels is the ipad docks

The best advice given to me is you can’t change the world by attacking everything at once. Take one part, change it for the better, then move to the next. Eventually, your world is what you want it to be.

My biggest pet peeve when visiting “other” hotels is knowing we serve extra things for the same price and not getting them!

The Hotel amenity I can’t live without is the free breakfast

The worst feeling in the world is acting all chirpy with a guest, then finding out they’re only in town because of an accident or a funeral.

If I could change one thing about the hotel industry, it would be saying goodbye to staffing shortages.

If I could meet one person (alive or dead) it would it be Terry Brooks. I love all the novels and would like to ask him about his inspirations.

If I had to do it all over again, I would become an archaeologist. Just kidding.

I prefer…

Night over Day
Summer over Winter
East Coast over West Coast
Sunset over Sunrise
Quiet over Loud
Classical Music over Rock

The “best hotel story” of my career.

While staying in a different hotel during a hockey tournament weekend, I watched all the little children running around the hallways with their mini-sticks, annoying other guests. Instead of having a security guard , this hotel had a person dressed in a referee uniform who confiscated all the sticks, labelling them with the players name and then giving them back to the kids at checkout. I thought that was a pretty good idea!