Clockwise from top: (l-r) RMR sales and marketing manager Ashley Tait

Revelstoke Mountain Resort ready for Nov. 30 opening day

Revelstoke Mountain Resort rebrands food services, completes glades, trails and snowmaking for Saturday, Nov. 30 opening day

For the 2013/2014 season opening this Saturday, Revelstoke Mountain Resort is pushing an aggressive summer glading and trail-improvement program, as well as an overhaul of their food services offerings at the base and the re-branded Revelation Lodge.

I did a brief tour with sales and marketing manager Ashley Tait and was very impressed to see their huge staff-training program in action.

“Whose mountain? Our mountain!” screamed some of the 120 trainees during a team-building exercise at the Rockford restaurant. They were the cream of the crop out of about 700 applicants for jobs at the resort this season.

Cyndy Rustad is the new Director of Food and Beverages at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. She’s leading a management shake-up and rebranding of all food services on the mountain. The Rockford Grill, the Mackenzie Commons (formerly Wino’s) and the food service at the Revelation Lodge (formerly Mid-Mountain Lodge) have been moved from Northland Properties’ hotel division into their food services wing.

Rustad said RMR has been listening to customer feedback and wants to create a better fit with the mountain and community.

“It’s far more approachable than it was before,” she said of the new Rockford. Waitresses’ mini skirts have been replaced with blue jeans and the leather-bound menus have been switched with simpler paper ones. They’ve brought back menu favourites (with revisions, like the Mongolian Hoisin ribs and Mumbai Bowl) and are laser-focused on creating a streamlined dining experience, including faster line-ups at the Revelation Lodge. “We’re all about seamless hospitality,” Rustad said.

They’ve got a new breakfast buffet at the Rockford.

The Mackenzie Commons is the new name for the old Wino’s bar. “It’s the apres place to be,” explained Rustad.

The upmarket wine bar never really took off; the oft-heard complaint was skiers and boarders just wanted a pint, not a pinot grigio.

The Mackenzie Commons doesn’t open until Dec. 5, but a peek through the windows reveals revamped decor.

Rustad said prices are still being revised, and the shift will be towards bigger servings for a thirsty after-ski crowd.

*** Want to know what’s new on-mountain? See our story from a late-August tour of work on Mount Mackenzie***

Over at the repair and retail shop, new Revelstoke homeowner Benoit Lafon has taken over retail and rental operations. The former pro snowboarder hails from the Pyrenees, where he grew up in a ski retail family, and moved into snowboarding, competing in the US Pro Tour, World Cup and other pro competitions, mostly in the late 1990s. The rental space is under renovations; look for big changes in the retail spaces, including much better use of the displays that face the gondola line-up. Benoit moved here with his wife and two children. Word is he’s   super-fast on the single-plank.

Nico Leenders is the new marketing manager at RMR, having relocated to Revelstoke in the fall with his family.

Dan Sculnick is an RMR vet, but has a new role this year, working in sales and events alongside Ashley Tait. Events are a “huge priority” for RMR, Tait said.

Having new improvements on-mountain and at the base are key to marketing success in the ski resort business. Staff and contractors revved up bulldozers and chainsaws this summer. We covered the additions in a story this summer, but to summarize, the Ninja Traverse has been widened a lot, snowmaking is in place at the base of the mountain and beginner terrain has been expanded to make the top-top-bottom experience easier.

A new bomb tram has been added in North Bowl, allowing patrol to drop the Lemming Line rope earlier.

A new, extensive glading program has opened up new glades on the front of the mountain. The Times Review witnessed the work, and there’s quite a few new, large glade sections up there.

Some new runs are being built off of the Stoke chair.

Washrooms have been added at the Ripper Chair.

The other big change is the pre-Christmas Swatch Freeride World Tour dates. The competition runs Dec. 16–23, including several weather days.

The Times Review will be up on the hill this weekend and fill you in with more next week.

 

 

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