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Hotel mogul makes his mark in Sudbury

Having the belief in a vision and the drive to execute it has resulted in another first for hotel mogul Steve Gupta.
Steve Gupta1
Hotelier Steve Gupta, president of Easton’s Group of Companies, takes pride in setting a new standard of excellence for the Marriott brand.

Having the belief in a vision and the drive to execute it has resulted in another first for hotel mogul Steve Gupta. 

As president and CEO of the Easton’s Group of Companies, Gupta visited Sudbury this winter to ensure the finishing touches were successfully placed on the city’s new TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotel, the first of its kind in Canada.

The 60-person staff celebrated the hotel’s opening just days prior to the Christmas holidays, fulfilling a friendly wager Gupta had made with Sudbury’s chief building official Guido Mazza.

The $14-million project began on March 9, 2010 and was completed in record time, just shy of 10 months.

“I had a bet with (Mazza) that if you give me a permit to build the hotel, I’ll have it built before Christmas,” Gupta said with winning smile.

For him, the challenge only encouraged him further to pursue its completion. “If people say I can’t do it, I will show them.”

Originally, the 1.6-acre lot was designated for a different building. However, when Gupta came on the scene, he was able to modify the existing site plan control agreement and provide the city with the desired TownePlace Suites by Marriott hotel.

“He had pulled enough rabbits out of his hat during the three months we were involved in that project, I knew better than to bet against him, but it was interesting anyway,” Mazza said.

Gupta, a self-made millionaire, describes himself as the ultimate optimist who realizes his goals through hard work. He owns 11 hotels in Ontario,six of which carry the Marriott brand. He creates success by following his own vision.

“I always like to find my own way and do things very differently,” he said. “I take pride in achieving something different, achieving something that no one else has.”

Known for taking the well-known Marriott brand up a few notches and creating a new standard, Gupta’s Marriott hotels have been called the “Ritz-Carleton” of the brand.

He has received many awards recognizing his hotels as the “best of the best.” He takes pride in his work and creating jobs, of which his 1,400-person workforce is testimony.

“To be a good worker, you have to be given good tools,” he said, emphasizing the importance of hospitality. He trains his staff to treat customers like guests they would invite into their own homes, which has helped develop repeat clientele.

As with all of his Marriotts, Gupta spared no expense with Sudbury’s TownePlace Suites.

Geared to extended stays, the six-storey hotel features 105 rooms, including 12 handicap-accessible rooms. All rooms are furnished with a fully equipped kitchen, including a two-burner ceramic cook-top stove, an automatic dishwasher, microwave and full-sized refrigerator. This provides a cost-effective alternative and healthier option for long-term guests, said Lisa Jones, director of sales.

Each room has a self-combination safe for valuables, a full workstation with shelves and a roll-out desk. As well, every mattress is a Sealy Posturepedic to help provide weary travellers with a good night’s sleep.

A total of seven suites comprised of three two-bedroom suites and five one-bedroom suites offer a spacious alternative for those on long-term visits. Earth-tone colours create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.

Window coverings and pictures hanging along the hallways offer an added touch not often seen in hotels.

“It truly will be their home away from home,” said Jones, adding that the response has been positive.

Other services provided are pet walking, groceries, laundry and dry cleaning. A fitness facility is open 24/7 and a hot tub and pool with a two-storey water slide provides an attractive activity for younger folk.

The hotel hosts banquet facilities totalling 2,100 square feet that’s equipped with all the necessary audio-visual equipment for seamless presentations. The space can be divided up into breakout rooms as well.

A continental breakfast is provided in the dining area, which also features a licensed bar, unique to the TownePlace Suites by Marriott brand.

Although Gupta will wait and see how the Sudbury hotel performs, he did not rule out the possibility of building a hotel in other Northern Ontario cities.