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 Long-time hotelier Ian Powell retires from Inn at Laurel Point

Ian Powell has retired as managing director of the Inn at Laurel Point, passing the keys to the Inner Harbour hotel over to his successor this week. Powell’s 15 years at the ­Laurel Point caps a 45-year career in the hospitality industry, where he worked as general manager at various hotels across the country, including the ­Fairmont Empress in Victoria. Succeeding Powell is Eda Koot, who joins the Laurel Point from Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport. Koot said she is honoured to carry on the work of Powell, who has long been a mentor. Powell hired Koot early in her career, and stepping into his shoes brings her “full circle.” During his time at the Laurel Point, Powell oversaw large-scale, multimillion-dollar renovations to the original vision of the late Paul and Artie Arsens, who commissioned renowned architect Arthur Erickson for the hotel’s first renovation in 1989.

The B.C. Hotel Association named Powell its Hotelier of the Year in 2019, and he won Tourism Victoria’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Powell, 65, an ordained ­Anglican priest at Christ Church Cathedral, moved to Canada in 1978 from the United Kingdom. He joined the Canadian Pacific Hotel group and eventually became general manager of the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Victoria’s Fairmont Empress and the Fairmont Princess in Bermuda. Powell has committed much of his time to various industry associations. He was the chair of the Tourism Industry HR Task Force study, and was on the go2HR board, serving as chair and past chair. ­Powell has also served on the board at the B.C. Hotel Association since 2006.  

Reprinted with permission from Times Colonist October 6,2021