Peter Armstrong

Founder, Rocky Mountaineer Vacations

peterarmstrong80x120.jpgAn innovator and entrepreneur, Peter Armstrong began his tourism career as a doorman at the classic, railway-built Hotel Vancouver before quickly moving on to start his own bus tour company. By 1979, he initiated the privatization of Gray Line, a provincial crown corporation and became a partner in and president of the newly private company.

He expanded on his vision with the founding of the family-owned Armstrong Hospitality Group Ltd. in 1990. Its first acquisition was the federal government’s fledgling and subsidized tourist train through the Rocky Mountains. The company set out to further develop luxury rail tours and related offerings within the hospitality industry; it has since evolved into the largest privately owned passenger rail service in North America.

The original two-day rail tour is now just one of more than 70 independent vacation options that the organization offers. These vacations include city-stops, sightseeing tours, rail and drive programs and year-round, destination-based holidays. The Armstrong Group also owns and operates the Thompson Hotel, Three River Junction Theatre and Gray Line West.

With a corporate vision to provide the “Most Spectacular Experiences in the World”, the Rocky Mountaineer has become known around the world as the trip of a lifetime. Now in its 18th year of operation, Rocky Mountaineer is set to welcome its one millionth customer in the summer of 2008.

As its success is largely dependent on the unspoiled scenery, fresh air and abundant wildlife in Canada’s West, the company has taken on a personal responsibility to preserve and steward the natural environment. By minimizing environmental impact and providing awareness of natural resources, heritage and culture, the company offers its guests an experience that is truly connected to the land an communities in which it operates.

Mr. Armstrong is the recipient of the Canadian Venture Capital Association’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Tourism and Hospitality, and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for contribution to Canadian communities.  He has also been inducted into the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame, named the 2007 Tourism Leader of the Year by Tourism B.C. and was granted an honorary degree from the Thompson Rivers University for his significant economic and cultural contributions to the Kamloops area.

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