Rocky Mountaineer - Top Luxury Train on the Planet - Gives the Gift of Canada to the World

NEW Life Changing Travel Experience Now On Track with Seattle and Lake Louise

VANCOUVER, July 4, 2013 /CNW/ - One might think that being named the "World's Leading Travel Experience by Train"* would make Rocky Mountaineer - an all-Canadian company that celebrates the natural beauty of Canada with over 45 unique vacation packages and five unique rail routes - complacent.  But for Randy Powell, President and CEO, and his staff at Rocky Mountaineer, nothing could be further from the truth.  The team is now gearing up for its most exciting and adventurous travel season yet.  For the first time ever, Rocky Mountaineer is crossing the American border with its new Coastal Passage route, linking Seattle and Vancouver en route to the majestic Canadian Rockies.  The world-renowned luxury train experience is also adding legendary Lake Louise as a new destination, resurrecting passenger rail travel to this quintessential mountain town for the first time in over two decades. New routes, new stops and additional travel options put Rocky Mountaineer on track as one of the greatest travel adventures in the world.  And it's all Canadian!

The Little Engine That Could
Under the direction of Randy Powell, Rocky Mountaineer has been transformed from a business fueled by personal passion, to one that shares a passionate love of Canada and comfortable, luxury train travel with people around the world.  "Rocky Mountaineer has brought the romance back to rail travel, and has amplified international tourism attention on the Canadian Rockies," says Randy Powell.  "We truly are the little engine that could, and we are thrilled to welcome and host more than 100,000 international visitors every year."

Riding the rails on board the Rocky Mountaineer is a life changing experience.  The promise is immersed in Rocky Mountaineer's 4S' - scenery, savoury, socialization and service.  Every train ride takes place only during daylight hours to ensure guests enjoy every minute of the breathtaking scenery.  Savoury is fulfilled by Executive Chefs, trained in Michelin-star restaurants and five-star hotels around the world.  Innovative gourmet creations showcase the distinctive flavours of Western Canada.  Making friends with other guests and enjoying the onboard storytelling from Rocky Mountaineer Hosts provides the socialization, and all travellers experience exceptional guest service, for which the company is celebrated.

Canadian Luxury on the Rails
It's been a steep climb to become an internationally renowned luxury train experience.  Rocky Mountaineer began as a struggling government-owned passenger rail service and was purchased by the family-owned Armstrong Group (parent company of Rocky Mountaineer) in 1990.  Randy Powell, known as a skillful strategist and master brand builder, was inspired to take on this leadership role by Company Founder, Peter Armstrong, in 2007. Mr. Powell was the first outside President in the Company's history and brings an entrepreneurial spirit, prolific business background, leadership and commitment to quality and innovation. Rocky Mountaineer has since become one of Canada's greatest success stories and leading tourism providers.  The company, having recently launched its 24th operating season on April 23, has hosted over 1.5 million guests from across the globe.

An expert in providing breakthrough motivational, professional management to both private and public businesses, Mr. Powell has a legacy of taking a number of Canadian companies to the next level. "Teams need the mentorship and confidence to take risks and propose new ideas.  Sometimes that's more difficult within a family-run business," says Mr. Powell, a member of the exclusive Canadian Council of Chief Executives.  "Part of what drives our success at Rocky Mountaineer is the entire team has an inability to be complacent.  We believe that being the best is simply not enough and we're continually looking at how to be trailblazers, "out of the box" thinkers and innovators to provide life-changing experiences for each and every one of our guests. We couldn't be more excited about what is to come during our 2013 season. It is a big year for us as, new destinations of Seattle and Lake Louise as well as the expansion of our new level of service, SilverLeaf, are essential components of our growth strategy."

Going Coastal
The NEW Coastal Passage is Rocky Mountaineer's fifth rail route, exclusively available in the Company's high-end, award-winning GoldLeaf Service in 2013.  The luxurious, three-day, all-daylight journey begins or ends at the historic King Street Station in Seattle, and travels along the stunning coastal shorelines of the Pacific Northwest to the heart of the breathtaking Canadian Rockies.  The Coastal Passage route features bi-level rail coaches, custom-designed for Rocky Mountaineer with a glass domed upper level and an exclusive dining area below.  And for those who want to be closer to nature, there's an outdoor vestibule on each coach.  Only four exclusive journeys will be departing in August this year, with a full-season schedule of 24 departures to follow in 2014.

Romance of the Rails Returns to Lake Louise
No vista is more intrinsic to the Canadian Rockies and the breathtaking beauty of Canada than Lake Louise.  Now, Rocky Mountaineer is bringing the romance of the rails for guests back to this picturesque locale for the first time in over two decades.  Lake Louise enhances the Rocky Mountaineer First Passage to the West route and is offered on select departures during the 2013 season.  The two-day rail journey can also be combined with a stay at the world-renowned Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

SilverLeaf on More Routes:  More Options for Travellers

Rocky Mountaineer offers three levels of service - GoldLeaf, SilverLeaf and RedLeaf - to meet the various needs of its guests.  In 2013, the company expands its new SilverLeaf Service -  launched in 2012 - to more routes than ever before including the two-day Journey Through the Clouds.

"We sell fun and adventure, and are consistently innovating to keep our experience best-in-class while making it even more accessible," adds Mr. Powell.  "The addition of SilverLeaf Service to more routes provides our guests with a high quality new option and brings affordable luxury to even more people."

Five Exceptional Routes
Rocky Mountaineer is now proud to provide five rail routes that capture the essence of the West:

  • First Passage to the West - the Company's flagship route re-traces the historic Canadian Pacific Railway between Vancouver and Banff/Lake Louise or Calgary.
  • Coastal Passage - launches in August 2013 with four departures and seamlessly connects Seattle and Vancouver en route to the Canadian Rockies.
  • Journey Through the Clouds - travels between Vancouver and Jasper, with Mount Robson - the most prominent mountain in the Canadian Rockies - as the highlight.
  • Whistler Sea to Sky Climb - a 3.5 hour train experience between Vancouver and Whistler.
  • Rainforest to Gold Rush - offers BC's seldom seen Cariboo and Chilcotin regions as the backdrop as well as the dramatic scenery transformations between Whistler and Jasper.

International Accolades Keep Rolling In

From the corporate conductor's seat, Randy Powell steers Rocky Mountaineer toward its aggressive business goal of becoming a $2 billion company.  Along the way, the Company has received many unique recognitions and outstanding reviews:

  • Countless travel awards from organizations such as National Geographic, Forbes Magazine, Condé Nast, Travel + Leisure Magazine, and many more
  • Selected as a VIP gift for Academy Award Nominees in 2012 and the Writers Guild Awards in 2013
  • Operated as the Hospitality Train on behalf of the Province of Alberta for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver
  • Featured in the prime time reality TV hit "Bachelorette" with Jillian Harris and recently in 2013 on the popular series, Top Chef on Bravo and the Food Network.

"Rocky Mountaineer is a genuine Canadian success story," adds Mr. Powell.  "I don't know of many Canadian companies that are as internationally recognized and celebrated as Rocky Mountaineer.  That's something we've worked very hard to achieve.  We continue to invest in our brand, and never stop innovating.  This is going to be a great year, and my job is to ensure the coming years are as spectacular as the vistas enjoyed onboard Rocky Mountaineer."

About Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer offers over 45 vacation packages and five unique rail routes, rich in history and natural wonders, through the Pacific Northwest and Alberta. This world-renowned, luxurious train travels by daylight through the wild beauty of Canada's West and is considered by many as the only way to experience the majestic Canadian Rockies. Since its inception in 1990, the company has grown to become the largest privately owned passenger rail service in North America and has welcomed more than one and a half million guests from around the world. Rocky Mountaineer has received numerous international awards and accolades for service excellence. Most recently, the company received its seventh World Travel Award as, "World's Leading Travel Experience By Train" and has been recognized by National Geographic as one of the "World's Greatest Trips."

During its 2013 season, Rocky Mountaineer launches Coastal Passage, a new route connecting Seattle WA and the Canadian Rockies. It signifies the company's first rail journey to and from the United States.

* World Travel Awards, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005


SOURCE: Rocky Mountaineer

For further information:

For more information on Rocky Mountaineer, or to arrange an interview with Randy Powell, President and CEO, please contact:
Ive Balins, Strategic Objectives, Tel:  416-366-7735 x259
email:  ibalins@strategicobjectives.com


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