Saskatchewan-based OBASA Suites has made a mark on the national corporate housing industry through its acute understanding of the needs and demands of corporate travel and its unique challenges. It understands that in order for people to do their jobs away from home or while in transition, they need the comfort and amenities of home.
In today’s global business environment, it is not uncommon to travel across the country or to another continent for weeks or months at a time. This is the demographic that seeks out OBASA Suites; corporate guests who require a temporary home away from home.
OBASA Suites provide short- and long-term corporate accommodations in Saskatoon and Regina, with affiliates across Canada. It offers more than 100 suites, some as large as 1,975 square feet which are fully furnished and come with a flexible, no-lease option, convenient locations and the amenities of a hotel with the comfort of home.
“All our clients need to bring is their clothes,” says Robin Purcell, Corporate Housing Manager, who oversees client relations. Recently, Purcell has seen an increase in activity in the Saskatchewan market due to the success of the province’s economy. Companies such as BHP Billiton, AMEC and Cameco are turning to OBASA Suites regularly to accommodate their employees travelling from China, Australia, and New Zealand.
With a steady 85 to 90 per cent occupancy rate, OBASA Suites is expanding within the province to areas such as Prince Albert and Yorkton by early 2013, with a five-year goal of going coast to coast.
Purcell sees business “growing and growing”. The business model works to attract long-term clients by offering greater discounts based on longer stays, but the service level attracts shorter term clients as well. “We accommodate all different types of clients,” says Purcell. “Most corporate housing companies have a 30-day minimum requirement. We also accommodate shorter term guests, but the longer you stay is where you start seeing the discount. Also unlike a hotel, we do not charge GST, PST or destination marketing fees on our 30-plus night stays.”
Monthly cost saving comparisons between OBASA Suites and standard hotels are significant, less than half of what it would cost to stay at a hotel for 30 days, and this is before the cost for the OBSASA Suites amenities are calculated into the hotel stay. OBASA Suites estimates that the savings on living costs such as parking, laundry, movie rentals, and meals are markedly less, at about 20 per cent the price a client would pay at a hotel for the same services.
“Our wonderful accommodations, locations and price comparisons aside, what I believe truly distinguishes OBASA Suites is our attention to customer service,” says Purcell. “I have built a team with a great deal of experience with customer service within the hotel industry and we know our corporate clients’ needs. It’s a personal service. We think outside of the box and do whatever we can to ensure our guests stay is enjoyable and stress free. We stand by our mission statement which is capturing our success by meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of our clients.”