Happy Holidays! 2020 has been quite a year, hasn’t it? It has been one for the books.
Our 2020 began optimistically, as new year’s do, but by March that had quickly changed. COVID-19 took over our lives and changed everything. It impacted us personally and professionally. In the early Spring we could no longer leave our homes. We could no longer socialize in person. Many people lost their jobs. And many people lost their businesses. It has been a hard year for all of us.
As the pandemic progressed, we quickly added to our vocabulary words such as “unprecedented,” “new normal,” “adapt,” and “pivot.” These are just a few of the words that were (and continue) to be put on repeat in the media and business vernacular as we have attempted to describe the immense changes taking place. PBA responded quickly to the pandemic and over the course of 48 hours our entire staff was working remotely, for the first time in its history. We were fortunate to have the capabilities to do so and by the end of May we had largely returned safely to the office. Throughout this time, we remained dedicated to our tenants and supported them the best we could and navigating the changing landscape together. Through this we shared which tenants were open on social media. Early on we also realized the mental health of our employees and tenants had to be a priority, and offered the mental wellness app headversity for free to them. This app provided training to improve resilience to help cope with this crisis.
Although the pandemic has taken over our lives there were still many great things that happened in 2020. We were able to keep our staff employed and were fortunate to welcome new employees to our team. 2020 also marked PBA’s 55th year in business. Due to the pandemic we had to postpone our celebrations to later in the year and began our celebration in earnest as things became more stable. In addition, to the need to build resilience, COVID-19 taught us the importance of moments of celebration, so we shared our joy in celebrating this milestone with our employees, tenants, and community. We donated 55 Backpacks to the Backpack For Kids program; our team was featured in Business in Calgary magazine in September; we began monthly draws for gift baskets and gift cards for our tenants and employees; our team enjoyed a 55th anniversary virtual celebration in October; and we debuted a 5 minute video celebrating our 55th year.
Another lesson learned throughout COVID-19 is the value and power of gratitude to help us through challenging times, especially in those difficult moments when we lose sight of how fortunate most of us are to be living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada right now. So, on that note, we would like to express a heartfelt “thank-you” to our tenants, partners, investors, and employees without whom we could not survive these uneasy times.
We are also grateful that our on-going projects were able to continue through the pandemic. This includes construction of The Dorian Hotel. November marked the one-year anniversary since we broke ground on this game-changing project. From completing the excavation, installing the tower crane, to completing the parkade structure, and starting to build 27 stories up, we have come a long way in 12 months. We are grateful to EllisDon and the many trades and consultants for their ability to continue construction through this pandemic. We look forward to 2021 as construction progresses forward (and up!), and the hotel becomes a part of the Calgary skyline.
Our 55th year in business has been historical not only because of the construction of The Dorian Hotel but also due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our society and how we conduct business. As we draw near the end of 2020, we are grateful that our business has sustained through the pandemic and we hold tremendous optimism for a rebound in 2021. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic we look forward to a new year in 2021 and the positive things it will bring. We will continue to support our tenant community through this time and hope that they remain healthy and safe.