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Our History

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Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Fairmont is the largest luxury hotel management company in North America offering guests luxurious accommodation in the most sought after destinations. In October of 1999, Canadian Pacific Hotels & Resorts acquired Fairmont Hotels; bringing together two companies with over a century of rich history and exemplary hospitality. And from this grand union, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, a new key player within the luxury hotel segment, was born.

The original Fairmont Hotel was the vision of San Francisco natives, Tessie and Virginia Fair. In 1907, after a one-year delay due to damage from the San Francisco earthquake, The Fairmont opened its doors for the first time. Benjamin H. Swig bought The Fairmont in 1945, and began building an exemplary portfolio of hotels, later purchasing the Grunewald (now The Fairmont New Orleans). He chose the Fairmont name to represent his esteemed collection, honoring his first purchase and the company's flagship hotel, San Francisco's The Fairmont. Fairmont Hotels grew to seven properties in the United States, and became the social hub for the rich and famous.

Nineteenth century Canadian Pacific visionary, William Cornelius Van Horne, dreamt of building lavish rest stops alongside the newly constructed Canadian Pacific Railway. Noted for his famous quote, ''If we can't export the scenery, we'll import the tourists'', Van Horne did just that. He built Mount Stephen House high amongst the wilds of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and began welcoming guests to this first-ever Canadian Pacific Hotels property in 1886. Other grand hotels followed, with the legendary Banff Springs built in 1888, Chateau Lake Louise completed in 1890, and Le Chateau Frontenac opening its doors in 1893. Over the next century, Canadian Pacific Hotels continued to expand across Canada, acquiring the renowned CN hotel chain in 1988, which brought the distinguished Chateau Laurier in Ottawa and Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta to the CP collection. This acquisition also crowned Canadian Pacific Hotels the largest owner-operated hotel company in the country, with hotels located from Victoria, B.C., to St. John's, Newfoundland. The organization's next step was to move outside of Canada with the purchase of the sun-destination Princess Hotels, situated in Mexico, Arizona, Bermuda and Barbados, in 1998. Motivated to expand globally, Canadian Pacific Hotels acquired Fairmont Hotels in the fall of 1999, creating Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

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