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Our Stories

Our Stories

Haruka’s Story: We all smile in the same language

As a Front Desk Agent at Banff Ptarmigan Inn, Haruka Okumura takes great joy in helping visitors from around the world get the most out of their stay in Banff National Park.

And for international guests visiting Canada for the first time, who may be a little overwhelmed by language or cultural barriers, Haruka offers a particularly comforting connection.

Arriving from Japan in late 2016, Haruka knew little English when she started working in hospitality at Banff Ptarmigan Inn with Banff Lodging Co. As she immersed herself in work and daily life, her language skills and confidence soared. And before long, she was eager to take on more guest-facing roles.

Now specializing in customer service as a Front Desk Agent, Haruka enjoys spending her workdays interacting with guests as they check in, depart, and make enquiries at the hotel.

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Wii Phaiboonyingyot

Wii’s Story: Housekeeping star shines in Banff

Wii Phaiboonyingyot knows that the secret to high-calibre housekeeping is to support a high-calibre team.

And as the Housekeeping Supervisor at Banff’s Ptarmigan Inn, her collaborative spirit shines as brightly as the carefully polished surfaces of the hotel.

Wii says the best part of her job is the strong camaraderie she shares with her co-workers, and the opportunities to meet colleagues and guests from around the world.

“That’s most important for me – everyone is close and friendly. We solve problems fast and all departments work together nicely,” she says.

Born and raised in Thailand, Wii embarked on an adventure to Canada in 2010, eager to experience new cultures and learn English for the first time.

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Our Stories


Banff Community High School Foods Class Students Pass the Pizza Taste Test!

Delicious, made-from-scratch pizzas were on the school lunch menu this week, when eighteen Grade 12s cooked up a storm in the kitchen of the Meatball Pizza & Pasta.  The ‘in-training’ chefs arrived to meet their mentor, Chef Jesse Beal, on Tuesday at 11:30am sharp – ready to cook lunch for a full restaurant of their Banff Community High School classmates.
Following a tour of the kitchen, full safety briefing and some clear instructions from Chef Jesse, the cookery team – all of which are enrolled in the school’s Foods Class – donned their chef jackets and got set on their pizza preparation.  Time was ticking, and 55 of their peers would be arriving for lunch at 12:55pm, so it was a case of ready, steady, COOK!

Working in small teams, each pizza ‘department’ had a clear role: rolling the pizza dough; grating the cheese; making a rich, tomato base; preparing an Italian side salad; sprinkling pre-chopped ingredients of pepperoni, olives, peppers, onion and other tasty toppings onto the base; and finally, shovelling the pizzas into the oven to bake to perfection.

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