June 20, 2024
Aaron Macdonald, chief marketing officer at Sun Peaks Resort LLP in Sun Peaks Village. Photo by Aaron Macdonald

Aaron Macdonald has recently moved from his position as director of marketing to chief marketing officer at Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR). He calls this a “dream job” for him and is excited to bring his ideas into this higher executive role.

When his predecessor Aidan Kelly left, Macdonald said there was a gap to fill and he started trying to help with that role as well as his own. 

“After six months of working with some pretty amazing people on the executive team and the leadership team I was promoted,” he said.

He’s still taking on both the responsibilities of his old position and the new one, but can now hire someone to take his old spot and take some of the load off. 

Filling his new role

His position involves what he called “bigger picture stuff” that he didn’t see as director of marketing. 

“The real big marketing oversight, the partnerships, the sponsorships, the relationship management with key vendors,” he said, listing part of what he’s looking at now as chief marketing officer. “Then all the other little projects that go on, like supporting the HR department, supporting food and beverage, supporting elevation, the retail departments as well.”

Macdonald hopes to engage the community and dispel any “don’t talk to the big, bad corp” notions. 

“It’s like the new generation,” he said, talking about some of the employment changes at SPR and Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP). “We’re working really close and hand-in-hand, to really establish that community.”

As he met with SPIN outside the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel, the collaboration with members of SPR and TSP was apparent as many from various departments stopped to chat.

Having been in his previous position at Sun Peaks for only a year, he said his team at SPR has been helpful in giving him the history of the resort, making this transition to chief marketing officer much easier for him.

“Just in general, working with my colleagues on the executive and the leadership side of things has been great,” he added.

He’s come to SPR and moved up with a background in digital design and brand development, which gives him a different lens as to how he’ll work to market the resort.

“Probably the best part of this is just building upon things that have always been in the background that some people have just always wanted to do but there wasn’t a budget, or there wasn’t time to do it.”

What’s new at sun peaks resort?

One of Macdonald’s biggest goals right now is bringing the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel (SPG) and SPR together on the marketing side of things. 

“We have such a killer marketing team,” he said about SPR. “We have that creative, we have that content copywriting, we have all the cool content development infrastructure already in place. We can kind of tie both [SPR and SPG] together, because we have the resources.”

A lot is being planned this summer for the 25th anniversary of the bike park.

“We’re running a whole bunch of summer activities,” he said. “From Season Pass holder appreciation events to opening day festivities to locals days and industry days.”

Some initiatives are soon to be unveiled, such as the releasing of artists names for the redesign of the valley trail banners here in Sun Peaks.

What he said is important is having a way to set Sun Peaks apart from other resorts. 

“At the end of the day, we just want to do things differently so that we can get more guests coming here and they fall in love with the resort.”

Currently, he said this is being done by working on emotion-based campaigns.

”There’s a possible campaign that we’ve been doing with respect to just having more faces rather than writing-based stuff,” he explained. 

Macdonald believes showcasing this side of things will evoke more feelings in people that will draw them in, especially if some of the imagery feels nostalgic to them.

“I really want to innovate and elevate, and really just work with TSP to create that wow factor for the resort,” he said, looking forward to his future as chief marketing officer at SPR.


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