BCP Group of Companies

Developing, building and managing hotels
Written by: 
Molly Shaw
Produced by: 
Sean O’Reilly

The origin of BCP Group of Companies (BCP) was a small painting and construction company in Three Hills, Alberta. Over the course of 23 years, BCP has emerged as one of western Canada’s top hospitality, commercial and residential developer-builder and management companies.

BCP is now fully vertically integrated from bottom to top. “We develop, build and own most of our projects, mainly in the hotel sector,” shares Billy Coles, president of BCP. “We’re involved all the way from beginning to end. This vertical integration is something we’ve worked to build and it’s where we’re headed, including employee ownership in projects.”

Parent company BCP Construction, as well as hotel management branch CCR Hospitality, allowed BCP to come to life in 1992.

“BCP comes from Billy’s Construction and Painting,” Coles reveals. “We no longer go by that name, but construction and painting are still some of the many in-house services we provide.”

BCP Group of Companies

A to Z decision makers

Painting and wall vinyl, cabinetry and millwork, electrical, heavy equipment and mechanical service – all are found under the greater BCP umbrella. “Our head office is in Three Hills, where we have a full office staff, and 11 different bays that accommodate our in-house trades,” says Coles. “We have project managers and site supervisors, who work with our highly skilled carpenters, painters, electricians, equipment operators and even automotive techs. These tradesmen are the glue that holds our projects together. We also work with a dedicated team of subcontractors who go with us from project to project. This makes BCP an a-to-z type of company.”

Furthermore, this allows BCP to work for itself, and not for others very often. “To avoid cost over runs, we work on a guaranteed contract basis, enabling us to make all the decisions throughout the building process, because we are the owners,” Coles elaborates.

BCP runs all of its divisions out of a single office location in Three Hills. “We generally stick to the Prairie Provinces, but we’ve traveled as far as B.C. and Ontario,” measures Coles. “We’re a small-town company that works everywhere.”

Room for small employee investors

Between BCP Construction and CCR, Coles says BCP has some 50 employees and unlike some major developer-builders, the firm is opening up a whole window of opportunity in employee ownership.

“We build subdivisions in Three Hills, but our biggest projects are developing, building and operating hotels across western Canada, mostly in the oil areas and rural parts of the province,” tells Coles. “In the hotel market, where more commonly only large investors with a quarter million dollars or more are involved, we’re changing that model, bringing in our employees and providing a means for them to invest tens of thousands, rather than millions.”

Coles says BCP employees are investing with their own capital, lending to a return on investment that goes well beyond a dollar amount. “On past projects, employees have seen a ROI that’s anywhere between 20 to 80 percent,” he cites. “But the important thing is when they’re personally invested in the project, they do the best work they can. Our employees always do 100 percent, but this gives them the goal to do 110 percent, because they are project owners.”

Award-winning hotel construction and management

This model of business has served BCP well for the last several years and the team has landed many significant jobs. “80 percent of our business is in hotels and we’ve won numerous awards because we’re good at what we do in this industry,” says Coles. “To date, we’ve been on more than 200 hotel builds – in roles from general contractor to subtrades – we’re extremely experienced in every facet of the industry.”

In 2012, BCP was named Developer of the Year by Choice Hotels Canada and the following year, the firm completed the construction of an 85-room hotel in Fox Creek, Alberta. The Fox Creek Comfort Inn and Suites opened July 2013 and the rooms have been in high demand ever since.

BCP is currently in the midst of another 85-room Comfort Inn and Suites in Bonnyville, complete with hot tub and steam room. “We broke ground on this job in August 2014 and the projected completion date is June 2015,” details Coles. “This is a great example of our employee project ownership; 14 employees have bought in to this hotel, investing with their own capital.”

While the hospitality market is certainly a go-to for BCP, the firm tackles a range of other projects as well, both residential and assisted living. “We’re working on the Linden Lodge in Linden, Alberta,” details Coles. “This is a 12-unit addition with a big common area for the community, featuring 800-square-foot homes with attached garages and patios. BCP started this project in fall 2013 and we’re wrapping it up in early 2015.”

Aspen Villas in Three Hills has been a large-scale development for BCP. “This is a condominium complex for those 50 years old and up,” tells Coles. “Each unit comes with an attached garage and basement option. There are six duplexes, totaling 12 units that make up the complex. There’s also a common room for residents in this fenced-enclosed community.”

Leaning on quality sub trades

The hallmark of BCP is the ability to complete hospitality, commercial and residential developments in-house, but when it comes to sub trades, Coles says the company has strong relationships. “We work with concrete companies and the same foundation company, also roofing and big players in all-weather windows and building materials,” he shares. “We try to use the same plumbing, HVAC and mechanical contractors; also the same companies for stucco and asphalt. Not everyone travels like we do, but we tend to use the same sub trades when we’re local.”

These well-formed relationships set the standard on the project high. “Everyone knows what to expect project to project and it provides good value on investment because not every job is good to go on the lowest bid,” explains Coles. “We’re working together as partners; we’re not just employees on a job.”

Coles notes the 2008-2009 downturn certainly taught him the value of these relationships, but also the value in BCP owning and managing its own projects. “That recession taught me to own what I do,” he says. “From developing, building and operating, it’s the best model for us and we’re looking to do the same beyond hotels but in condos and apartments as well.”

“We’re also looking for more long-term employees,” adds Coles. “We want them to stay until they want to retire and be able to have as much, if not more than they could at another firm by way of employee project ownership.”

BCP Group of Companies and CCR Hospitality is paving the way in this model and making it an a-to-z developer, owner, builder and management group.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Choice Hotels Canada Inc.
Floor Den
Three Hills Home Hardware Building Centre