Northland Properties has gone local in its search for new boss at Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Robert Elliott, a long time ski guide and part owner of the Modern Cafe, has been hired as the new general manager of RMR, replacing Rod Kessler at the helm of the mountain operations.
“He wasn’t an obvious choice to us but he did step forward during this process and we determined he brings an awful lot to what we were looking for,” said Graham Rennie, the President of Northland Asset Management, which handles management of the resort. “We’re thrilled we could make a local decision.”
Elliott brings several decades of experience in the ski industry, as well as a degree in economics and experience in accounting and restaurant ownership to the position.
He moves to the top job from his position as lead guide with the Revelstoke Outdoors Centre and head of the cat ski operations at the resort.
In a news release issued by RMR Friday afternoon, Elliot said his ultimate goal is to “build bridges and improve relations with the community while offering a personable, authentic, and genuine experience to our guests.”
According to his bio with the Canadian Avalanche Association, of which he is secretary treasurer of the board of directors, Elliott is a level 3 ski guide with the Canadian Ski Guides Association and a qualified avalanche planner.
He has also worked as an accountant and comptroller with companies in Calgary and Vancouver and owned restaurants in the Banff area.
His ski history includes time as a ski patroller at Lake Louise and many years as a guide in the Columbia Mountains. He moved to Revelstoke with his family in 2004, where he has been involved with the cat ski operation on Mt. Mackenzie ever since.
His wife Kevan McCroy, is a part-owner of the Modern Cafe, which Elliott also has a stake in.
“When we look for an employee we look at what strengths we have on the ground,” said Rennie. “We try to build on that but he’s certainly a very qualified generalist when it comes to knowledge of big mountains, backcountry, all the safety issues that are obviously concerning. We think he brings a lot of knowledge of the Rocky Mountains and the kind of conditions we experience on the mountain.”
Mike Verwey was also announced as the manager of mountain operations. Verwey has been the lift maintenance manager at the resort since 2007. He will be responsible for the ski patrol, maintenance, grooming, lift operations and snow making.
Elliott replaces Rod Kessler, who stepped down last month after leading the resort through its first five years of development. Elliott’s job title of general manager differs from Kessler’s, who was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
Rennie said the focus will now be to move forward into the next stage of the resort’s growth.
“We were looking for a generalist who was a more grounded individual that can take the resort through the next stages of development,” Rennie said. “Up to today it’s been all about development and getting things turned over. We see this as the next stage of that.”