VANCOUVER ISLAND

My Tourism and Hospitality Career (36 years)

NANAIMO: Tally Ho Town & Country Inn (6 years)

Moved to Nanaimo.

Got extremely involved in the community – Known as the “Bathtub Capital of the World – This was started because of the Annual Bathtub Race from Nanaimo to Vancouver”. I was fortunate to have Honda sponsor a Tub in the annual race, as well as participate throughout the province at the time, with races on the Island as well as the BC Interior and Alberta – certainly not as a pilot, but rather the coach for our Team.

Got involved in the Tourism field – traveling across the country at times, showing off the attributes of Vancouver Island. Nanaimo Bathtub Race, at one stage was rated as one of the three most watched Events onTV across Canada and the USA!

Chamber of Commerce:

As the chairman of the Chambers Tourist committee, I was able to serve two, three year terms as a director, on the Chamber Board. During the same years, I was elected to serve, two three year terms as a Director on Tourism Vancouver Island’s Board. I was also elected to be Nanaimo’s Representative on the Island’s 86 Board of Directors. Founder and President of the Nanaimo AM Breakfast Club for two years.

 

THE ERA OF THE OAK BAY MARINE GROUP OF RESORTS              

UCLUELET: Canadian Princess Resort 1987 – 1989

While at the Canadian Princess Resort , my duties included being the early morning Service Manager, overseeing breakfast for 100 fishermen . I took on the responsibility of being “official Resort photographer”

During my first Winter, I lived in Bellevue Washington for three months,  as I began my Sales & Marketing endeavors for the company. The Canadian Consulate were very gracious in providing a small office for me to work out of – a service to visiting Canadians, planning on doing business in Seattle. They went further, by introducing me to all the major employers in the Seattle / Tacoma region – The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, McCord Air Force Base, Fort Lewis Military Base, Bangor Washington Naval Base – just to mention  a few. Spring months, I travelled extensively with a colleague, attending Sports Shows throughout the Pacific Northwest –  Seattle, Puyallup, Tacoma, Portland, down the I 5 corridor, to California – San Fransisco, Long Beach& San Diego. These  were our target markets.

 

CAMPBELL RIVER:                   Painters Lodge Resort (1989 – 1999)

Started at the time of the Grand Opening of the new Resort as the early morning Service Manager – very similar to my duties at the Canadian Princess Resort. 

  • During the Winter and Spring months, I spent travelling across, the USA, marketing both Resorts. Worked closely with Tourism BC, The Canadian Tourism Commission, travelling to certain major cities across the US, developing the Corporate Meetings and Incentive Travel to British Columbia, primarily for the new Painter’s Lodge Resort. They hosted us and introduced all of us to their key clients in major cities like San Francisco, Minneapolis, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles. Painter’s being the new addition to the Oak Bay Marine Group, included a small conference facility in their plans, which proved to be extremely attractive  for Corporate Meetings & Incentive Travel Groups. I attended the largest Meetings and Incentive Travel Show – ITME -( Incentive Travel, Meetings and Incentive) for close to five years.  

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  • CAMPBELL RIVER:                            April Point Resort & Spa 1994 – 1999
  • With the company purchasing April Point Lodge in 1994, I was once again involved in the marketing of the new April Point. With the complimentary water taxi service operating from 5.30 am till 11 pm seven days a week, this certainly proved to be a great success for both Resorts. With the addition of the Avida Spa, guests along with locals, were able to access both Resort amenities, with just a short 10 minute crossing, courtesy of the complimentary water taxi. Oceanfront dining became increasingly popular – Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

CROWN ISLE RESORT & GOLF COMMUNITY             1999 – 2003

  • As the new Director of Sales and Marketing, it was my responsibility to develop the Corporate Meetings and Golf Group business  for this magnificent new clubhouse. Capacity for meeting space was close to 5500 square feet. The ballroom consisted of two salons, fitted with the latest in audio visual equipment, bar with each salon. Two additional Meeting rooms on the first level could accommodate up to 6o people. The Resort boasted two boardrooms, restaurant, large pub with outside seating for 100 golfers, pro shop, club rentals, driving range, 40 electric golf carts. The course also boasted some of the most outstanding villa accommodations right off of the first tee. Very popular with Corporate Golf Tournaments and a popular location for weddings. The dual staircase taking you to the first floor from the lobby, provided visitors with an impressive entry as you entered the Clubhouse.

Not being much of a fisherman, and being an avid golfer, it was indeed a smooth transition for my next career move into the Destination Golf Resort business. I definitely found myself on the front line, on my very first day on the job. Crown Isle Golf Resort, were hosting the very first Canadian PGA Golf Tournament to be held on Vancouver Island. This was a four day event, with golfers participating from all across the USA and Canada. The 12,000 square foot clubhouse, was the perfect venue for Corporate Meetings and Tournament Events. I was able to bring my expertise in developing Corporate Meetings and Conference business to this spectacular new Golf Resort. Was in a position to play a lot of golf, thanks to my position – Customer Golf!!

COMOX: Harbour Air Seaplanes  2012 – 2015

I was fortunate to see an advertisement in the local paper for the Community Relations position with Harbour Air. The company were planning on providing direct float plane service from Comox Harbour to Downtown Vancouver. Played a key role in creating the awareness around the community for this new direct service. It was during the arrival of one of our daily flights, that I assisted a visiting business man from Vancouver, with his luggage from the aircraft to our terminal.

Not realizing who he was, I offered my personal services, providing him with a ride in my vehicle, to the Courtenay Bus Depot. As the bus departure time was scheduled to leave Courtenay for Campbell River at lunchtime (12 noon), I decided to provide him with a quick tour of the Community. Turned out, that he was a Travel writer for the Vancouver Sun / Province newspaper, scheduled to do a travel article in Campbell River. I thought that this could be an opportunity to “high Jack” the writer, and give him a quick personalized tour of the Comox Valley. After introducing him to numerous key people in the Tourist, business community along with local restaurants, coffee shops and local hotels, I dropped  him off at the bus depot.

Three weeks later, a series of photographs appeared in the Vancouver Sun/Province  newspaper – Headlines reading – The Comox Valley’s “Secret” Ambassador. Little did I realize that a little kindness and some customer service, would put me in the position of receiving two prestigious awards. Turned out, that due to this article, I became the recipient of the local Chamber of Commerce’s, Annual J.R Muir, Presidents Merit Award, for outstanding Customer Service. Later on that summer (2012) I received a congratulatory phone call from Tourism Vancouver Island, advising me that I had been selected “Employee of the Year for Vancouver Island” – 2012 

In an email to the Comox BIA, the travel writer prophetically wrote  “Somebody give Andrew an award. I think he just made the Comox Valley  a lot of money”.

 

CAMPBELL RIVER: Painters Lodge Resort 2015 – 2016

Head Concierge and Bellman Supervisor.

Was asked by management to interview students at our Spring Job Fair, for three bellman positions. Seasonal operations commence in April for Painters and May for April Point. 

As the Resort concierge, it was my duty to do the “Meet & Greet” as the guests arrived, as well as making recommendations for local dining, along with local attractions such as Elk Falls Suspension Bridge, and ensure that the Bellman went above and beyond with their services. The Adventure Tours – Whale Watching, Ocean Rapid Tour, Nature Tour, Grizzly Bear Tour were all very well patronized, by the international Resort guests. The complimentary Water Taxi Service, again proved to be a welcoming service not only for locals, but for all visitors alike. The daily service from Painters  to April Point on Quadra Island, runs seven days a week – from 5.30 am till 11 pm. Ocean front dining, has certainly been extremely popular by all visiting both Resorts. Both of the Resorts proved to be extremely popular destinations for weddings.