destination: hinton, ab
Project start: ETA
Stakeholders: Town of Hinton, hinton chamber of commerce, Yellowhead county
“We took the name Bliss from the historic archives of the Town of Hinton. This region in Canada is known for its fresh air, organic lifestyle and the entry point into Alaska.”
Hinton is the birth place of Bliss Hotels and Resorts. The Town of Hinton has grown from a host of different beginnings. Hinton was so named for William P. Hinton, a general superintendent for the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, in 1911, but it was not until 1928 that Henderson’s Alberta Directory finally recognized the existence of Hinton (though it was considered to be part of Dalehurst). The construction of the railroad in 1908, led to a construction camp on the flats at Prairie Creek. Four years later, a second town was built in anticipation of a coal mine, two miles east of the construction camp, and in 1914 the Canadian Northern Railway established a station called Bliss, another three miles east of the first “town”. In 1915, even further east, Dalehurst was known as the official post station for Hinton. It was named after a timekeeper who operated the main store during the construction days of Canadian Northern and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railways.
In the days of Bliss, a settlement named Entrance also served as a communication centre in the area. The old town of Entrance got its name as it was the entrance to Jasper National Park, and the last station on the Canadian National Railway (CN) before entering the Rockies. The new town of Entrance was formed when CN decided to abandon its track in 1926.
We took the name Bliss from the historic archives of the Town of Hinton, as mentioned in “The history of Hinton – 100 years of a town”. This region in Canada is known for its fresh air, organic lifestyle and the entry point into Alaska.
Bliss, being the last railroad station in the mountainous region, almost played the role of a revival terminal stop. In those days (1914 era) people either travelled by horse pulled carts or by train. Journeys were uncomfortable and arriving at Bliss was considered a relieve. Bliss was staffed with very dedicated station personal who were ready to provide more than just basic necessities.
Being the terminal station just before the Rocky Mountain Region had also developed a sense of belongingness, a “hub,” a refuge and perhaps the opportunity to socialize in local eateries and bars to make new friends. This organic interaction each time a train would arrive had created a culture of wholesome care which was holistic, natural, very environmentally friendly and very experiential. Imagine when one travels – he or she wants to interact with strangers and for that matter tries to find friendly and safe environments where he would find other “like-minded“ travelers. This trait is the essence of Bliss and the brand persona.
This hotel in Hinton, Alberta is part of a mixed use complex with over $22 million capital investment. The entire project is anchored around a golf course, a center of hospitality studies and research (an academic block), a retreat to rejuvenate and other features of business such as a convention center.
The future plans are to develop “Bliss” as a holistic, sustainable, eco-friendly hotel and retreat brand. There will be three variations of the brand, specifically designed to meet the needs of following four categories of the future expansion plans: