A file photo of Yellowknife's Chateau Nova Hotel. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
Yellowknife’s Chateau Nova Hotel parted ways with two of its local management team on Friday, the affected members of staff told Cabin Radio.
General manager Catherine Travis and catering manager Sacha Robillard said they left their roles with immediate effect.
Travis had already submitted her resignation and departs with a week of her notice remaining, which she will take as vacation; Robillard said a letter informed her there was “no longer room,” in her words, for her role at the company.
“They have restructured and there is no longer a need for my position,” Robillard told Cabin Radio. “I was relieved of my position with two weeks’ severance.”
Saying she believes Nova Hotels’ corporate headquarters wishes to take the hotel in a different direction, Robillard added: “I enjoyed my time with the local management. I didn’t have the opportunity to notify all of the individuals and businesses I was working with, and creating relationships with, that I was no longer with the company. My main concern at this point is being able to let people know my name and work ethic is no longer attached to the hotel moving forward.”
‘Blood, sweat, and tears’
Travis, who helped the Chateau Nova – opened in 2016 – establish itself in the Yellowknife market, said Nova Hotels had decided to offer her “a week off” before leaving the company as it prepares to open an expansion wing of the property.
She said her resignation was inspired by a desire to see more of her family.
“My father passed away and one of the questions asked when I was writing his eulogy was: what do you remember about your father? The only thing I remembered was how much he worked,” she said.
“Then I thought of how his grandkids never saw grandpa because all he did was work. I have two children and a grandchild that I haven’t seen for really two years, since I started there, unless they come and visit me at work – and I don’t want to be that type of grandmother, I want to spend time with my kids.
“I thought it was time to slow down and enjoy life, the world, and everything Yellowknife has to offer. When I came back, I gave them a month’s notice – which was a really tough thing to do because I love Nova, I loved the hotel; I was there when it started and we put our blood, sweat, and tears into it. At the same time, life is too short to dedicate it all to work.”
Travis told Cabin Radio she will join Yellowknife’s Super 8, which is operated by Canadian hotel management firm Holloway, as general manager.
“It’s a smaller hotel – no restaurant, no meeting space – so [it will help] give me back my life,” she said.
“But I will miss the Chateau Nova and the people I worked with. I cried many times today.”
Nova Hotels, which operates hotels across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the NWT, did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday evening.