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How Casino du Lac-Leamy is bringing Ottawa back together

At events large and small, happy employees means happy guests

Image of the front of Casino Lac-Leamy

When you’re a casino who’s known for putting their clients first, how can a pandemic help you up your game?

At the Casino du Lac-Leamy Complex, it was about embracing togetherness for both guests and employees. And it seems to be working.

Lise Sarazin, director of sales and marketing, says the phone has been ringing off the hook to book events at the Hilton Lac-Leamy. “Clients are coming back,” she said. “People really needed to see each other and connect.”

Image of the lobby of Casino Lac-Leamy

Whether you’re planning a business conference, a wedding or a birthday bash, the Hilton Lac-Leamy is the perfect place to host friends, colleagues and clients alike. And now, both the Casino and Hilton Lac-Leamy are introducing fresh ways to create premiere guest experiences by reimagining what quality, enhanced service looks like.

On top of the usual entertainment, food and amenity offerings, at the hotel, for example, the team will be investing in hi-tech tools that give guests full control of their guest experience, such as smartphone check-in, texting the front desk when you need a new towel, and the ability to order personal spa care and room service at the touch of a button. 

The technology isn’t about replacing staff — it’s about giving them time to focus their full attention on guests, so it truly feels like the Hilton Lac-Leamy is a home away from home, said Sarazin.

The company is also taking a closer look at its sustainability practices, especially when it comes to hosting large events. Four eco-responsible event packages have been designed for clients looking for a greener touch, while the broader organization is implementing IT-waste management programs and food recycling partnerships. 

By focusing on creating tailored guest experiences, the Casino du Lac-Leamy Complex is hoping more groups will take the opportunity to gather and reconnect in a way that suits them.

A winning team means a winning experience

While all of these changes are contributing to an elevated guest experience for clients, one of the major factors that sets the Casino du Lac-Leamy Complex apart is the staff, said Sarazin, adding that the team would have been remiss not to take a closer look at their employee’s experience as well. 

“After two years of lockdowns and closures, our staff need more support than ever. That’s why we’re giving them tools like enhanced training and benefits,” said Sarazin. “The more we take care of our team, the better the experience will be for our guests.”

Image of a conference room at Casino Lac-LeamyFortunately, strong leadership from hotel manager Mark Labrie is providing an example to follow. “He’ll be in the lobby when it’s busy opening doors and making sure that people are happy,” said Sarazin. “Customer service is in his DNA. He’s leading the way.” 

Learning from Labrie has influenced how Sarazin manages her own team. “Since caring for our staff is just as important as caring for our guests, I check in regularly with my team and make sure they have what they need,” she said. 

Like many in the hospitality industry, Sarazin said they are still looking to recruit more staff, especially now that business is picking up. But, with a top-notch team and the opportunity to create lasting relationships and experiences for clients, she is confident that they will thrive in this new era of events. 

“Our staff truly wear their hearts on their sleeves,” she said. “It’s definitely an exciting time to be working with guests and to be the place where Ottawa-Gatineau comes back together.”