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  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 26, 2014 01:45 pm

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St. Albert hotel wins award

The St. Albert Inn & Suites was recently awarded with a 2014 Housekeeping Award.

The Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association presents the awards annually. The awards recognize good housekeeping by “looking at the hotel through the eyes of the guests,” the association said in a press release.

Michael Mazepa, general manager of the Inn & Suites, said he feels very positive about the award. The hotel received 14 of them in the past 39 years, he said.

“It shows that our staff is doing a good job and it gives me a marketing tool,” he said.

To receive the award the hotel must first nominate itself for consideration. Inspectors then examine and grade the property, evaluating everything from the condition of the bed linens, to security and safety in each room, and the state of maintenance and repair in the hotel.

A minimum of five rooms are inspected during the process.

In total, 153 awards were given out this year. The St. Albert Inn & Suites was the only hotel in St. Albert that received the award.

Firefighter watches over vacant homes

A local firefighter and paramedic is hoping St. Albert residents will entrust their home to his care while they’re on vacation.

Paul Barbieri recently opened his home-based business Good Neighbour House Sitting.

He said he had the idea after having trouble finding someone to watch over his home while he was out of town, adding that many insurance companies exclude or limit coverage against loss or damage if the home is left unchecked during a vacation.

“I’m making sure that their grass is cut or that their hot water heater doesn’t blow up, or the sump pump doesn’t overfill,” he said. “All those concerns you have when you go on holidays.”

Barbieri’s service starts at $20 a day, including everything from walkthroughs to window and door checks, plant watering, light adjustments and appliance checks.

For $25, he also looks after small pets in the home, excluding dogs. And for $40 a day ($45 with pets), he includes lawn services and snow shoveling.

Thanks to his work, Barbieri said he understands how homes work and he can identify potential problems. He also has commercial liability insurance, “which protects the homeowner in an event that anything occurs from my negligence,” he said.

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