When the luxury train known as the Rocky Mountaineer rolls into Kamloops for an overnight stop it brings tourists eager to see the sights, stay in local hotels and experience local cuisine.
Kamloops employee Deana Mendez sums it up: “It’s amazing. Everyone knows the Rocky Mountaineer. It brings jobs, the tourists come and it boosts everyone’s bottom line.”
The privately-owned Canadian company will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2015 and is looking toward a bright future. “In the next three to five years we expect to double our business,” says president and CEO Randy Powell. He’s competitive in nature and knows to stay on top in the tourism sector he needs an extra push. “We want to grow the routes we are on and make sure we have a solid foundation for the future,” he says.
That’s good news for Kamloops, which is the maintenance hub for Rocky Mountaineer. A recently-built facility – about half the size of a football field – is where 32 full time maintenance workers keep the fleet up to speed. If business doubles, that means more job opportunities.
In season, Rocky Mountaineer employs nearly 600 people, 100 of them in the global head office in Vancouver. Britain and Australia are big customers and Rocky Mountaineer is reaching out to emerging markets in Europe, India and China.
An increasing number of international carriers are choosing to serve Vancouver International Airport making it easier for tourists from all corners of the globe to visit B.C.
Powell’s mission is to be a ‘creator of life changing experiences.’ He expects that tourists who travel the Rocky Mountain are changed, and so is the community of Kamloops.