When cases of COVID-19 began to emerge in the Lower Mainland, Greg Langley, General Manager of Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites, got a call from the Fraser Valley Health Authority wondering if he’d be willing to offer his rooms at a discounted rate to healthcare employees who were no longer staying at home for fear of bringing the virus back to their families.
With the green light from owners Richard and Andy Martens—members at Envision Financial—the Coast Abbotsford began to offer their rooms at cost for frontline workers in need.
After catching wind of this, Envision Financial President Dave Lanphear had an idea to further ease the financial burden on these local healthcare workers. He initiated a partnership with Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites to offer 60 single-night-stays free of charge.
We caught up with Greg and asked him to share more about the response to this innovative partnership between Coast Abbotsford and Envision Financial, and the value-add for businesses that support their community during times of need.
Envision Financial: Tell me about the frontline workers who stayed with you during the early days of the pandemic.
Greg Langley: We had a range, including nurses, physiotherapists and doctors. Some of them stayed for one night, some stayed for longer depending on their circumstances. There were those who couldn’t go home, and others who simply needed a place to recuperate after a long shift—really there were a variety of reasons why they were here. But all of them were very appreciative for the opportunity, because it’s a lot of money out of your pocket when you’re probably still paying rent or a mortgage somewhere else.
EF: What kind of protocols did you put in place to help them feel safe and at home?
GL: We’d always be sure to have breakfast ready for them in the morning—take-out packets that they could take with them to their shift. We also put strict cleaning protocols in place right from the beginning—we set up numerous sanitization stations around the hotel and limited touchpoints while ensuring all our guests knew where to walk. I think our healthcare guests felt safe during their stay with us.
EF: Offering your rooms at cost for healthcare workers was incredibly generous. Why did Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites decide to do this?
GL: Ultimately it was the right thing to do and we felt we were in a good position to lend a hand. It felt really good to be able to help them, to provide them a service that they truly needed. It was a bit scary at first, knowing we were going to be welcoming people who had been exposed to COVID-19, but we quickly realized that as long as everyone followed the protocols that we had in place it was safe.
EF: What’s the benefit for businesses when they engage in community support initiatives such as this?
GL: In this instance, for us as a local hotel, we were able to demonstrate our dedication and commitment to the well-being and prosperity of our neighbours. We care about this community and we’re glad we could give back in this way.
EF: What is the value in partnering with other businesses—such as this partnership between Envision Financial and Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites—when it comes to supporting the community?
GL: I think it demonstrates that we’re all in this together. Working side-by-side with others for the common good is something we should all strive for.
Hear Greg and Envision Financial President Dave Lanphear speak more about the partnership between Envision Financial and Coast Abbotsford Hotel & Suites in this video.