Rocky Mountaineer is poised to have its best season in years, which makes the official opening of new offices and multimillion-dollar maintenance facility a timely one, a spokesman said.
"All of the early indications are, from all of our markets around the world, that this year is going to be one of the strongest we've had since the start of the recession," said Ian Robertson, the company's executive director of corporate communications and public affairs.
Robertson showed off the state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot facility near the CN Rail yard prior to a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
The event was multi-purpose, he said. It provided an opportunity to celebrate Rocky Mountaineer's 24th season in Kamloops and give local politicians and business people a glimpse at the new operation.
When Rocky Mountaineer started, the offices and maintenance facility were made of shipping containers and modular buildings. Robertson said the trains were maintained outside in weather that wasn't always agreeable.
"Now we've brought it all together under one roof," he said. "It's much more convenient and accessible."
Up to six rail cars can be worked on at a time in a facility that allows mechanics access to all parts of car in a climate-controlled environment.
"This is work that we couldn't have done in Kamloops before," he said.
Robertson wouldn't say how much the buildings cost, only that the amount is significant. He said Rocky Mountaineer brings $18 million into the local economy annually, $3 million of which goes to the hotel industry.
He said the time had come to reinvest in the Kamloops infrastructure.
During the press conference, Rocky Mountaineer president Randy Powell told the more than 50 people who gathered that Kamloops is an important part of the company's success.
He said the investment Rocky Mountaineer made is a commitment to a long-term partnership with the city.
Mayor Peter Milobar thanked Rocky Mountaineer for its contributions to Kamloops and pledged the City will do its part to keep the partnership successful.
Rocky Mountaineer employs about 70 people during the April to October tour season.
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Rocky Mountaineer held a grand opening Wednesday afternoon for its new maintenance facility near Halston in Kamloops. Ian Robertson, executive director, corporate communications and public affairs, talks about the rail tour company's commitment to the city and the $18 million it contributes to the local economy.