In Profile: Rod Raycroft
Tourism Mount Washington has hired global tourism professional Rod Raycroft as its new manager.
“Rod stood out as the best choice after a lengthy search spanning the tourism industry,” said Ken Armour, President of Tourism Mount Washington.
“We chose Rod because of his demonstrated leadership capabilities and marketing expertise. He is a great fit with our organization and has a deep understanding of both the tourism industry as well as community development,” Armour said.
“We are happy that Rod will lead the Association into the future and build the Resort Community into one of the great four-season experiences on Vancouver Island.”
Raycroft, a professional photographer and travel destination manager, was working in Germany when he applied for the Tourism Mount Washington job. Although previous jobs had brought him from Yukon Territory to Vancouver and Victoria, he had never been to Mount Washington before, so flew to the Island to meet with the Board at his own expense.
Raycroft has a background in tourism marketing and destination management. “The other part of my history is with the Federal Government and economic opportunities,” he said.
He worked in Yukon Territory developing communication strategies for Yukon Land Claim Agreements, crisis communication for environmental issues, and implemented marketing campaigns in seven countries (including two Yukon Tourism brands).
He has hands-on experience marketing a tourism destination along with individual businesses, trade, airlines and third party partners. “I have a sense of what it takes to create an economy,” he said, and to help a community move forward. It’s something he says he will focus on with TMW.
“Mount Washington has a community here. It needs to move forward into a managed approach not only as a destination market but as an economy, and the Board wants to move that way,” he said. “I think Mount Washington has great potential. It’s an absolutely gorgeous area.”
Working with the Resort to avoid duplication of marketing services will be key to moving forward, he said, “so we can spend our money on other things like community development.”
Raycroft operates out of the Vancouver Island Mountain Centre, sharing office space with VIMC manager Bridget Orsetti. He is living on the mountain, and managed to enjoy winter skiing despite starting with Tourism Mount Washington on February 22. “I did experience some of the best skiing I’ve had in probably a decade,” he said. “Europe in the last couple of years, there was hardly any snow anywhere. Coming here, seeing the ‘ghosts’ at the top, was absolutely a dream.”
Rod is looking forward to the summer season, and what kind of experiences the warm weather will bring. “I’m really hopeful the new owners (Pacific Group Resorts Inc.) will start making some announcements. News about the Bike Park opening was most exciting. I think they’re taking a strategic approach to how they develop the mountain. “As a community organization or Resort Association we should be able to step up and help them achieve some of their objectives.”