As I sit here overlooking the Saskatchewan River, watching the ice flow dip
and churn it's way with the current, my mind (like so many), turns to Christmas
and the holiday season. As I look around
the Four Season's restaurant, I am excited to know that there will be some calling the Park Town hotel their home away from home this holiday season.
Working at a hotel
like the Park Town, is as different a place to work as one can imagine. Every
day we are faced with both familiar faces and strangers, people visiting for
business and pleasure, and people staying with us under both celebratory and
grim conditions. All of these people, compartmentalized in their rooms, with
their own baggage and their own stories. While we see our fair share of happy
moments--engagements in our South Dining Room, weddings in our Cedar Room, anniversaries in our Poplar room and unlimited birthdays throughout the hotel. We also
bare witness to the lesser of times... the moments we privatize, the moments
you don't typically send greeting cards for. Sitting here, swaddled in the aroma of my cappuccino, this dichotomy of
emotion is self evident, again compartmentalized in the booths and window seats
of the Four Season's dining room. Some sit alone, some sit with families, others scold
children and a few men in the corner at table ten, talk quietly over a
tablet... all of them entrusting us with their health, well being, private
struggles and celebrations this holiday season.
As I take another sip
of my frothy accomplice, I realize that providing Christmas for seven floors of amazing Park Town Hotel guests, all with their own prerogatives, is simply not a job for the faint of
heart...heck it may not even be a job for Santa Claus. My heart speeds up..
suddenly I'm making my own lists and checking them twice! Did I re-type that
reservation onto our back up copy? (check.) Did I remember to leave that manger the
message about the gluten allergy? (double check.) OMG! Did I even remember to turn off the lights to my car today!? The view, that was so simple and inspiring a few minutes before is now swirling
like a visual panic attack. To make matters worse my phone is blowing up!
Beep-- Did you drop off
your Secret Santa present?
Ding-- Did you remember
to get door prizes for the staff party?
Brrring-- The headlights of your car are are on!
OMG! I'm supposed to provide
Christmas for seven floors of amazing Park Town Hotel guests and I've just left my vehicle on as a beacon of hope in the Saskatoon night! This is a problem. Like a massive problem. Suddenly the shiny tile of
our newly renovated lobby seems like a good place to just lay down and have a
good ole' fashion Christmas tantrum...instead I order a wine. A nice 9 oz. from
our cozy Riverside lounge.Yes...this will solve
my internal Christmas Crisis!
Resolving my inner
conflicts I take another, rather sailor sized sip, and I note the meticulous
decorations on the main floor of the hotel. I watch the Lindor chocolates
bobbing up and down on their ties attached to the bottles of wine being
delivered for Room Service. I watch the little girl pose by the Christmas tree
with her family as one of the Front Desk Agents chides "Smile!" and
snaps a quick family photo for them. I watch as our hostess cheers "Happy
Holidays, have yourself a lovely evening!" as guests pay for their supper.
I stare at the man from the maintenance department who is smiling to himself as
he hangs a decoration in the South Dining Room. Suddenly I am like Silent Night
calm... all is calm and all is bright.
You see, as I watch all
of our staff engaging and preparing for the upcoming holiday season, I realize
that seven floors of guests...of Park Town Hotel family... all relying on us for the perfect Christmas is
not a problem...not for our employees.
After all, most of them have been with you every day since you arrived if you
have been sick. And many have seen you arrive every year to celebrate with us
and your families when you have been well. And this hotel has embraced you
through your ups and downs throughout your life. This hotel remembers you. And
it's not just the walls, or the elevators, or the echoes of laughter in the
hallways that remember you and welcome you home-- it's the employees.
The staff are what
make Christmas at the Park Town Hotel. Every year they leave their own families
during the holidays to ensure that the time spent with yours is magical. They
give up their own memories to remember you. They eagerly put on their Christmas
cheer and await your arrival every year. Yes...in my heart I know it's the
staff that make this hotel special...I know it's the employees that make
As I finish my
evening, and recant the end of this story, I'd like to extend the happiest of holidays and merriest of Christmases to you
and your families. On behalf of the Park Town Hotel, and all of it's owners,
managers, employees and ghosts of Christmas Past, we hope to share this holiday season with you and your loved ones. We can't wait to be a part of your
- The Park Town Hotel