Fairmont Château Laurier hires new general manager amid extension debates

Chateau laurier
Rendering of the latest proposed designs for the 147-suite addition to the Château Laurier.

Amid fervent debates over a proposed extension to the landmark hotel, the Fairmont Château Laurier announced Monday it has hired a new general manager.

Rick Corcoran, a 30-year veteran of the hospitality industry, will join the iconic Ottawa hotel from his role as general manager of the Ritz Carlton San Francisco. Before that he oversaw a multimillion-dollar renovation to another hotel under the Fairmont banner, the Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa. He has also worked at Fairmont hotels in Vancouver, Dubai and Boston.

Corcoran replaces longtime Château Laurier GM Claude Sauvé, who has retired. 

Corcoran’s appointment comes as the Château prepares to build a seven-storey, 147-suite addition to the rear of the hotel. That proposed development was the subject of intense scrutiny at Ottawa's built heritage sub-committee on Monday. Councillors and heritage advocates debated the latest submitted designs from hotel owner Larco Investments, with many deriding the so-called “box” structure as an unsuitable addition to the hotel.

The sub-committee voted 7-1 to recommend that planning committee request further alterations to the proposed designs at next week’s meeting. City council rubber-stamped the development application last year but left city manager Stephen Willis with authority to approve any further alterations to the final designs.