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REM expected to boost hospitality sector and enhance employee experience

REM expected to boost hospitality sector Hero
As delivery on Montréal’s new light rail system (REM) approaches, many sectors are preparing for change. This is particularly true of tourism, lodging, and other businesses positioned in and around the new stations and development hubs along the line.

REM offers accessibility and time savings for residents, workers and visitors
From the outset, this new affordable and reliable means of transportation should appeal to people visiting or working in the Montréal metropolitan area. "This is an ambitious infrastructure project that will connect downtown Montreal to communities and neighborhoods that have not been well-served by public transit, such as the West Island,” says Luc Sicotte, senior vice president, real estate management services, with Colliers Canada. The REM will  also improve access and connection between companies seeking workers, and Montreal’s broader talent pool, thanks to the availability of efficient commutes up and down the line.

Scheduled for completion by 2027, the REM is already sparking new mixed-use development and investment at locations along the system.

Data as of March 2023

Jessi Carrier, senior vice president, hotels at Colliers, sees the REM as good news for hotel owners and operators, in particular. "The REM has the potential to provide a pleasant, efficient connection between downtown Montreal and Trudeau International Airport,” Carrier says . That connection will stimulate business and leisure tourism, he predicts.

How should hotels at or near the airport feel about the REM?

Hotel operators near the airport shouldn’t worry about losing business because of the REM, Carrier says. In Toronto and Vancouver, airport transit links connecting those cities’ urban cores haven’t disrupted the airport lodging business.

"In Toronto and Vancouver, the appeal of these establishments has not diminished,” Carrier says. “There will always be two types of customers: those who come to Montréal for a short period of time or who have things to do in the airport area or in the West Island and prefer to sleep near the airport —and those who wish to spend most of their time and their nights downtown.”

Avoiding traffic jams and parking headaches downtown is another major benefit of the REM. "With the train's speed, extended hours and frequency, people will be able to better enjoy the cultural and culinary attractions of downtown without having to drive into the city. If the train runs every eight minutes    instead of every hour, it's a game-changer.

Opportunities to enhance service offerings
Building owners increasingly share the responsibility to help promote a healthy work-life balance for their tenants’ employees by facilitating wellness programs and incorporating attractive, convenient amenities, Sicotte says. The arrival of the REM will create opportunities to implement "convenience activators" in office locations such as concierge services, on-site dry cleaning and parcel drop boxes — all of which will enhance the employee experience and motivate employees to work more often at the office and spend time in the downtown area.

"Setting up shop at or near a station is a wise investment for hotel developers,” Carrier says. The REM has the potential to stimulate the development of downtown submarkets by increasing activity around its stations. If a hotel offers a restaurant or even a nice café in its lobby, residents, commuters and workers would likely use this space to gather and relax. It all contributes to having more appealing, lively places for visitors and residents alike to spend time – and money.

The REM contributes to sustainable transportation

The REM also makes transiting around Montreal cleaner and more sustainable. "The REM is a fully electric train that produces no greenhouse gas emissions. The system will help remove thousands of cars from downtown streets," Sicotte says, adding that the REM is expected to function for at least the next 75 years. (Montreal’s subway system was initially built in the 1960s).

The REM should be perceived as an opportunity for development and growth, especially among hospitality operators and other businesses near the line and its transit hubs, Sicotte and Carrier agree.

To take a deeper dive into the REM and the opportunities it presents, check out Colliers’ interactive map providing details on the REM stations and surrounding neighbourhoods, including demographics and ongoing development projects.

Colliers' clients include real estate owners and developers, real estate investment firms and corporate tenants. Learn more from Colliers experts and find out everything you need to know about the REM project.

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For More Information, Please Contact:

Luc Sicotte

Senior Vice President - REMS

Montreal REMS - 4915 rue Pare

Prior to joining Colliers in 2018 through the acquisition of Landmark Properties, he held executive positions in public and private corporations. From 2011 to 2018, Luc was President and CEO of Landmark Properties , from 2007 to 2011, he acted as President and CEO at Canderel Group (a private real estate development & management company), between 1998 to 2007, he was Chief Financial Officer at Gaz Metro until 2003, before becoming president and CEO of Gaz Metro Plus (a wholly owned subsidiary of Gaz Metro’s service operations) until 2007. Luc also held senior financial officer positions at Le Groupe la Laurentienne and Transcontinental Group from 1987 to 1998.

Throughout his career, Luc distinguished himself in many different challenges in shareholder value creation: turnaround situations, mergers & acquisitions and subsequent integrations , divestitures, real estate management on all fronts, in small and large private and public corporations.

 

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Jessi Carrier

Senior Vice President | Hotels

Montreal

Jessi is responsible for hotel brokerage and debt placement. With 15 years of experience in real estate and finance he brings a unique dimension to the Colliers Canadian Hotel Practice Group with his comprehensive background in several investment disciplines, in particular hotels, restaurants and related industries. Jessi most recently worked with an investment banking firm, prior to th​​at, he was with GE Capital for eight years as a senior account manager. 

 

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Michelle Santos

Head of Content, Marketing | Canada

Vancouver

Michelle oversees Colliers Canada’s content program, conceptualizing and creating strategic campaigns and materials that reach target audiences via optimal channels, and meet project, client and business objectives. Collaborating with internal experts,  clients and content partners, she develops content that elevates the brand, further positions the company as an industry thought leader, and provides Colliers, its people  and its clients a competitive advantage. 

In her previous role as Communications Manager, Michelle oversaw the Canadian business' internal and external communications, content strategy for client-facing collateral, and PR program.

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