Storm Riders: Old House Hotel

The Storm Rider series aims to celebrate the strength of our industry while highlighting some of the many ways businesses have overcome the challenges resulting from COVID-19. We are proud to showcase how the following businesses have adapted while celebrating the people who are at the heart of what we do. In this post, we hear from David Rooper of the Old House Hotel & Spa in the Comox Valley.

Why do you do what you do?

I really enjoy creating inspiring environments that convey comfort, creativity and safety — both physically and mentally. But even more than that, I am passionate about building diverse teams that are empowered, encouraged to take risks and feel valued for their uniqueness and talents. By managing the Old House Hotel & Spa I am able to do all of this and am totally enjoying this opportunity.

What is your hope for the future of our region?

We are truly one of the most beautiful places on the planet. I envision the Comox Valley as a destination/community that holistically values and protects its natural beauty, wildlife, and ecosystems. I hope our Valley will be filled with successful, sustainable local businesses and that our First Nations community will operate thriving enterprises that celebrate their culture with visitors from around the world.

In your own words, please share “Travel matters because …”

It helps broaden our perspective on so much, builds international networks of friends and colleagues, fulfills our spirit of adventure and provides a very important economic benefit to every corner of the world.

What do you most want people to know about your business?

Our business success is driven by our staff. Through their work on committees, they create new approaches to safety, our sustainable environmental practices, team building activities, guest service and more. To deliver, daily, the area’s best west coast hospitality experiences means we all have to show up, do our very best and remain accountable to one another.

Other than your own business, what are 3 other businesses in your community that visitors should experience?

  • Locals Restaurant: We couldn’t be more fortunate than to have a four-star, locavore-pleasing, dining experience right on our property. Renowned and decorated Chef St. Pierre and his team provide an unforgettable experience in the scenic and historic “Old House Restaurant” cedar building.
  • West Coast Expeditions offers personalized Sea Kayaking adventures on the western edge of Canada and promises cultural, BC, sea-faring wilderness retreats like no other. The owners are experienced, involved in adventure education and aboriginal ecotourism and a joy to be around.
  • While a non-profit, United Riders of Cumberland provides all the information you’ll need to experience some of the best mountain biking on the Island, right here, in nearby Cumberland.

The spark to own/work in this business must motivate you each day. – what are some of your past experiences that have contributed to this spark?

First, I have a great commute! Who can argue with the scenic, low-volume traffic! I also really enjoy showing up for my team; particularly this one. While not everyone is a perfect fit, our core team, in good times and in bad, is a family and super dedicated! Hitting the mark with our guests is something I never take for granted, but it sure is rewarding. I am happy to say most of the time, our reviews, surveys and personal notes we receive from guests are priceless. It’s fulfilling to know that you are providing a safe and beautiful escape, especially in these times of a challenging pandemic. Finally, I am given a great deal of trust and room to do my job, so we can get things done!