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Monday, October 26, 2020
   
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Victoria's beggars re-rename the "Fairmont" Empress
U.S. President Barak Obama has branded him a corporate welfare bum --- town gossips claim he is a trillionaire --- the Old Timer lives in subsidized housing and spends his days dumpster diving

18-Aug-06 -

In 1999 Gucci clad spin doctors in Canadian Pacific Hotels hit upon the idea of "branding" CP under the name "Fairmont". Henceforth, according to executive order flashed out to each of Canada's truly grand hotels from the centre of CP's universe in Toronto, every minion in the "Fairmont" hierarchy was forbidden to call the The Banff Springs Hotel ... "The Banff Springs" - the hotel was now brand-morphed into the appellation Fairmont Banff Springs. Henceforth, when a consumer heard the word Fairmont she was to conjure up in her tiny noggin visions of ... mountains, snow, Pre-Raphaelite luxury; visions of Victoria's inner harbour unburdened by a the name Empress; visions of the Plains of Abraham unadulterated by the corporately incorrect Chateau Frontenac. So emboldened with the perceived success of the Fairmont brand were the Fairmont spin-doctors that they allowed Fairmont's bottom-line bean counters to post Eva Braun type guards at the doors of the Fairmont's washrooms to save toilet paper by keeping women tourists out - well-heeled tourists complained long and loud - who in the corporate hierarchy gave a damn? Until along came a bad news story this week. An unnamed Washington lobby group had cancelled a $500,000 convention at Victoria's "Empress" hotel. In their media release, Fairmont spin doctors didn't call the hotel the Fairmont Empress - a simple Empress would do. The lobby group had been appalled by beggars hanging around the hotel. But, said the spin doctors, beggars hung around the Empress, not the Fairmont Empress. Nowhere in the lengthy spin-release was the word "Fairmont" used.

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