Terry Merrill

General Manager – Holiday Inn Peterborough Waterfront, Fortis Properties Corporation

I have been in the Hotel Industry for 22 years.
I have worked in 8 hotels in Canada + Internationally.

My first job/position in the hotel industry was a dishwasher at the Best Western Fireside Inn – Kingston

The number of times I have…

opened a hotel: 0
renovated a hotel: 3
removed a dead body: 1
escorted a guest off the property: 30
see a ghost in a hotel: 0
kept “it” confidential: 100
driven a guest to the hospital: 2
dealt with an “Act of God”: 3
performed Housekeeping Duties (made beds, scrubbed toilets): 30
taken a sick day: 10

What does it take to be a GM? What’s involved day to day? Always be positive, interact with both guests and staff, be decisive and portray confidence patience/understanding.

The three things I can’t live without are:
2-my family,
3-a Chef’s kitchen

My caffeine fix: Tea – At least 2 cups in the AM

The Hotelier (or person) that has inspired me the most is: I have been lucky to have so many…Lorne Weary, David Smythe, Armand Abitbol, Jonathan Lund, Tony Elenis, Joe Gillivan, and Gord Langford.

My most embarrassing encounter with a hotel guest was a room service delivery…naked man answers door, naked women on the bed and an invite to join the party!

My most famous hotel guest was Jean Chrétien – kind enough to take a picture with me and write a nice note to my Dad who was a huge supporter.

My most bizarre special request from a hotel guest (or staff member) was the room service incident I noted above…although for Hoteliers, probably not so bizarre!

Best CANADIAN hotel for a entertaining/fun/dirty/wild weekend: Holiday Inn Peterborough Waterfront…of course!!
Best CANADIAN hotel for a shopping trip: Holiday Inn Yorkdale
Best CANADIAN hotel for business travel: Intercontinental Downtown Toronto
Best CANADIAN convention hotel: Intercontinental Downtown Toronto
Best CANADIAN airport hotel: Holiday Inn Toronto Airport
Best CANADIAN resort: Blue Mountain
Best RESTAURANT in a CANADIAN hotel: The Hazelton’s restaurant ‘ONE’ by Mark McEwan

The best advice given to me: There are always two sides to every story.

My biggest pet peeve when visiting “other” hotels is incremental services not activated in the system.

The Hotel amenity I can’t live without is bottled water.

The worst feeling in the world is failure!

If I could change one thing about the hotel industry, it would it be the speed in which tasks are due

If I could meet one person (alive or dead) it would it be Jimmy Page – guitarist for Led Zeppelin

If I had to do it all over again, I would get a Masters Degree in Music

I prefer…

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

The “best hotel story” of my career.
Delivering room service to Jeff Healey‘s room. When he answered the door the room was completely dark with shades drawn. He told me to just put the tray on the desk although I couldn’t see the desk. I stumbled over his luggage, dropped the tray (very embarrassing) and had to get the order remade. On the next visit he had the lights on and drapes open!!