Hospitality Consultant and Contractor | Rich Eichler Consulting Inc.
Rich Eichler has been working within the hospitality and tourism industry for over 30 years in a number of roles and capacities. Rich began to learn in an official manner the hospitality and tourism industry in 1982 when enrolling in what still today is recognized as Canada’s most highly regarded hotel and tourism school, at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto. At Ryerson, Rich successfully completed a four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts Degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Throughout the four year period between 1982 and 1986, he also held various work positions with both Delta and C.P. Hotels (now Fairmont).
Although it has been nearly 25 years since graduating from Ryerson, Rich has kept close ties with the Faculty, having served as President of the Hospitality Alumni Association, as well as a Board Member of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.
After Ryerson, Rich spent a year abroad in Israel in 1987, working as a management trainee at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. As part of the Dan Hotel chain, the King David is one of the most prestigious and renowned hotels in the Middle East.
Soon after returning to Toronto in 1988, Rich joined Pannell Kerr Forster (PKF) Consultants, one of the world’s largest and prominent management consulting firms that specializes in assignments within the hotel, tourism, foodservice and leisure time industries. Rich spent 12 years with PKF and became a Senior Consultant by 1995. Throughout his time with the company, he acted as project leader for several hotel and tourism consulting assignments throughout Canada. These included engagements for both new and existing hotels and resorts. Projects included single and mixed-use developments in a broad range of locations including urban, suburban, rural and resort communities.
While most of the 12 years spent with PKF was within Canada, Rich was fortunate enough to work on several international hotel consulting projects, and between May and August 1992, spent four months working in PKF’s sister office in Hong Kong. During this time he was project lead for various hotel consulting engagements in Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia.
After being in Toronto for the better part of 18 years, Rich returned home to Calgary in the fall of 2000. Since this time, he has worked within the hotel and tourism industry in a wide and diverse manner. In 2001, he joined Westmont Hospitality/Innvest REIT (head office in Toronto), acting as Asset Manager for their 25 western Canadian hotels, which represented approximately 5,200 guest rooms. The western Canadian portfolio Rich oversaw achieved annual operating revenues of $130 million. Major responsibilities entailed the monitoring and development of value creation strategies for hotel expansions, capital and retrofit programs, and re-branding. Rich also participated in annual Budget and Sales & Marketing Plan reviews.
In 2003, Rich undertook a one-year contract Asset Manager position with Royal Host Hotels based in Calgary. At the time, Royal Host owned, managed and operated approximately 40 hotels across the country. The 40 hotel portfolio Rich oversaw as Asset Manager included 5,500 guest rooms with annual operating revenues of $150 million. Responsibilities entailed assisting hotels with capital, renovation and revenue-enhancement projects.
In most recent years through Rich Eichler Consulting Inc., Rich has undertaken several consulting engagements for a wide variety of hotel owners, operators and management companies. Areas of specialty include site selection and feasibility studies for new hotel and resort developments, plus market position studies, operational reviews and purchase investigations for existing hotels and resorts. This has covered a broad range of property types, sizes and locations throughout the country. Through his consulting company, Rich has also been in engaged in a number of tourism related studies including strategic planning exercises, and master plan developments. This has included government sector work commissioned by the Alberta Ministry of Tourism Parks and Recreation.
As well, in 2005, through the Alberta Real Estate Association, Rich successfully completed the Real Estate Agent’s Program, and soon after became a licensed realtor with First Place Realty in Calgary. With regard to real estate brokerage activities, Rich has been involved in the purchase and sale of several hotel properties including transactions within the Alberta market areas of Calgary, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Banff, Canmore, Vermilion, as well as in Winnipeg Manitoba. Rich has also sold land parcels for hotel development within Calgary, Edmonton and Saskatoon.