Alan Carter recalls driving to work at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge last week, knowing he was about to have a conversation that would take a trek he’d been taking for 20 years out of his daily routine.
“Everyone knows the passion that I have for my golf course. I love going to work every day. I love living in that town and that community. It’s an amazing place,” said Carter.
“I adore where I work. There are still more things that I wanted to do prior to thinking about looking at going anywhere else. It really comes down to an opportunity and opportunities come up,” he said.
The former president of the PGA of Alberta will be joining the Edmonton Country Club on Nov. 18. For more on that and his background, click here.
“The country club is the oldest club in our province. It’s got history and everyone knows that I enjoy that element of it. I look forward to being part of their next chapter and doing what I can to keep the country club what it is and make it even better,” said Carter.
“I enjoy Edmonton. When I was in Jasper, I’d be in Edmonton about once a month, once every six weeks and it’s a good community. It’s a great city. It’s a new chapter in our lives,” said Carter, who expects to see some familiar faces when he starts his new position.
“It will be interesting when I get to go through the roster. A lot of times, you know people are members at clubs in Edmonton. Sometimes, they’re at (Royal) Mayfair, they’re at Windermere, they’re at the country club,” he said.
“There are a lot of members of the country club that are regular guests, certainly, of Jasper Park Lodge,” said Carter.
As much as he appreciated the day-to-day routine of dealing with guests at one of the most renowned golf courses in the country, Carter says the training he received from Fairmont as Jasper Park Lodge will serve as a foundation for his transition to a private club setting.
He points out that Jasper Park Lodge had a membership component to it, as did Heritage Pointe near Calgary, where he worked when he first arrived in Alberta from Southern Ontario.
The early part of his career saw Carter employed by operations such as Rolling Hills and Maple Downs, under the late Irv Lightstone.
Carter says the customer service that was emphasized at Fairmont is what counts, whether it’s a resort course or a private club.
“I’ve always believed we’re about making people feel like they’re getting service on a level that you are at your own little country club. Jasper’s always wanted people to feel special. It’s not just about where we are, but how we treat people. That’s what Fairmont’s all about,” said Carter.
“I’ve always been thrilled that I’ve been lucky that I’ve been at places that did have members, as well,” he said, adding that he will also draw on experience from his days in the Toronto area.
“This, in many ways, closes a bit of a circle for me. I would have been at Rolling Hills when I was younger, but when I was at Maple Downs, it was that private club. That’s what I fell in love with, that’s what I dreamed that I was going to be a club professional, just like Irv Lightstone,” he said.
“It obviously took me down a different path, none of which I would trade for anything because I believe it’s given me some of the greatest tools in my toolbox. Nobody is going to teach you how to look after people much better than what Fairmont can do,” said Carter.