New chair selected for Tourism Whistler 

Saad Hasan of Lodging Ovations to replace Roger Soane

click to enlarge Saad Hasan
  • Saad Hasan

Saad Hasan of Lodging Ovations - which manages Legends, First Tracks Lodge and Evolution in Creekside - has been chosen by other members of the newly elected Tourism Whistler board to serve as chair, following a board retreat in June.

Hasan will hold the post for two years and has been a board member for four years previously, plus two additional terms with Tourism Whistler's governance committee.

In a phone interview, Hasan said he's looking to build on recent success.

"We certainly want to stay the course, and grow our focus on leisure and conference sales - that's certainly one of our main drivers," he said. "Also, the growth of the destination market is huge for us because those are the long-stay guests and they grow the market spend as well.

"Right now England and Australia and doing well for us, and also there's a new focus on Germany as that market has grown considerably. Growing the destination market is something that everyone talked about (at the retreat)"

He says his past experiences with the board and Tourism Whistler mean he's coming into the post with a good understanding of the how the organization functions, "and how we can take it to the next level in terms of marketing the resort."

The marketing strategy revolves around several current campaigns, including the Whistler Unfiltered promotion where visitors were encouraged to post photos on Instagram. "For us that's been very successful," said Hasan.

"Other than that we're focusing on the amazing events calendar that has come up with the Festival, Events and Animation department (of the municipality) and collaborating with them. We also want to grow our winter program and target winter destination markets."

Hasan replaces Roger Soane, who held the post for four years. Soane has since been named CEO of Whistler Sport Legacies, but will stay on the board as the representative of Multi-Managed Lodging - Other.

Hasan himself holds the director position of Single-Managed Lodging - Small, and has served as vice chair in the past.

Other positions include:

Norman Mastalir: Vice Chair and director of Single-Managed Lodging - Large

Sue Chappel: Multi-Managed Lodging - Benchlands

Jim Allard: Multi-Managed Lodging - Village

Tony Cary-Barnard: Director at Large

Duane Hepditch: Commercial

Appointed directors include David Brownlie and Stuart Rempel from Whistler Blackcomb, Councillor Roger McCarthy and municipal CAO Mike Furey, and Tourism Whistler president and CEO Barrett Fisher.

The Tourism board election was in May.

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