Pedersen appointed to TW board 

Former hotelier and Disney exec fills vacant spot

Les Pedersen, director of sales and marketing at Whistler’s Westin Resort & Spa, has been appointed to Tourism Whistler’s board of directors.

Pedersen fills the board position that was left vacant last month when Westin GM Victor Burt was promoted to senior director of operations with Starwood Hotels, Westin’s parent company.

“We’re delighted that Les has been appointed to this board as he brings a wealth of mountain resort experience from his previous positions in Aspen,” said Rob O’Neill, chairman of O’Neill Hotels & Resorts, which manages the Whistler Westin.

A graduate of Denver University, including one year of international study in Paris, Pedersen is also a Certified Hotel Sales Professional. He began his career in 1981 at the Sheraton Denver Tech Centre, then one year in 1988 at the Turnberry Isle Yacht & Country Club in North Miami Beach. In 1989 he joined the 1,891-room Opryland Hotel in Nashville and during his four years there was also responsible for the sales efforts of a 200,000 sq. ft. conference centre, golf course, theme park and 600-passenger showboat.  

According to Pedersen, “the Mouse called,” and in 1994 he joined the Walt Disney World & Disney Cruise Lines in Orlando, where he oversaw 15,000 guest rooms, theme park venues, cruise line and specialty merchandise.

In 1999 Pedersen returned to his alma mater home state and for six years led the sales and marketing efforts for the 650 rooms and conference centre owned by Silvertree Properties in Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado.

Pedersen served as president for the Snowmass Resort Association and vice president of the Aspen Theatre Company and Aspen School for Theatrical Arts.

There were originally seven candidates to fill the Tourism Whistler board position, with Pedersen making the nominating committee’s short list of four.

Tourism Whistler will hold its annual general meeting Saturday, May 20 at the Telus Conference Centre, starting at 2 p.m.

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