Throughout his extensive career as a hotelier, David McBean has been able to transition seamlessly between global brands and independent properties, while bringing passion and talent to the table.
After working in Revenue Management and Operations with brands such as Delta Hotels in Vancouver and Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre, and most recently as director of Operations at Spirit Ridge, in Osoyoos, McBean is happily settling into a new role as GM of the Watermark Beach Resort, situated in the stunning desert landscape of Osoyoos, B.C.
“Watermark is an amazing resort located in the heart of wine country, in Canada’s only desert,” says the 42-year-old hotelier. “We’re currently elevating the property both in product and service, to provide a luxury feel.
What makes the resort unique, says McBean, yet similar to some of the other hotels he’s worked at “they’re all resorts with luxury condo product and stratas. The condo product is unique in the operation. The operation and type of guest is different. The length of stay increases, and the impact on F&B changes when your units have full kitchens.”
The native of Alberta graduated from Toronto’s Centennial College and cut his hospitality teeth while working as an elevator operator at the CN Tower before landing at the Crowne Plaza just as the city was dealing with SARS. It wasn’t until he returned to Alberta to work at the Fairmont Lake Louise that he found his calling.
These days, the trilingual McBean is fuelling his passion for delivering remarkable guest experiences while focusing on upgrading the resort. “We’ve just completed renovations to our ballroom and hallway, and public area renovations are underway. We’re upgrading IT by changing our PMS to Opera Cloud, and also moved our customer-service management system to Medallia, and our guest-request tracking system, HOTSOS, has just gone live.” The hotel is also doing a mattress and linen conversion. “Our restaurant, 15 Park Bistro, has just finished installation of walls around the patio and new gas heaters that will greatly expand the outdoor patio dining season.”
But it doesn’t stop there. McBean says the resort is focusing on recruitment. “We know if we can expand our offering and service levels across the resort by having enough employees to deliver our services, it will be that much better. We are almost fully recruited for the summer season already.”
As a beach resort, the hotel is an ideal wedding venue as well as a great family destination. “Our resort has a brewery on-site, a full-service spa, partnerships with a watersports company and a marina with boat slips available for guests to rent. We have something for every demographic.”
BY ROSANNA CAIRA