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Regina's Landmark Inn Owned And Operated By Ochapowace

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      DECEMBER 1996      v26 n01 p33  
The Ochapowace First Nation surveyed the Band membership fairly recently to determine the direction that their economic development should be taking. What the Chief and Council discovered was that a large number of their urban Band members in Regina were interested in pursuing careers related to the hotel industry, including cooking, restaurant work and housemaid positions.

According to Dennis Bear, the Landmark Inn's CoManager and Human Resources Coordinator, they considered their options and when the Landmark inn became available in Regina, the Ochapowace First Nation "took a shot at it." They became the official owners in May of 1996 and retained the existing staff.

Since becoming hoteliers, the Ochapowace First Nation has begun renovating the facility. Bear reports that the first order of business was to repair the roof at a cost of $100,000. They are currently upgrading the guests' rooms and the banquet and meeting rooms. In addition, they are working on the general appearance of the exterior.

The Landmark inn features 186 rooms, a whirlpool, sauna, waterslide and pool, conference rooms, a shuttle service for guests and banquet and catering facilities. There are a number of peripheral businesses located in the hotel including Checkers, a popular nightclub, the Wheat Sheaf restaurant, Shades Hair Design and the Digital Print Center.

Bear says that after acquiring possession of the business, "We realized that the hospitality industry is basically customer service and the people must be trained before they are put in those demanding positions." As a result, the Ochapowace First Nation Human Resource Corporation and the Landmark inn have entered into a partnership with a number of agencies and organizations to offer Aboriginal people training in the hospitality industry.

There are currently 50 people receiving training at the Landmark inn with respect to the hospitality industry and personal development. Upon completion of the program, 40 of these trainees will become employed with the Landmark Inn. The remaining ten will begin work in other establishments.

The Landmark Inn is located at 4150 Albert Street in Regina. They offer sports packages and special rates for First Nations customers. For reservations, call 1-800-667-9811.