Wayfare Chief Executive Richard Lauder has announced he will leave the tourism industry after the TRENZ convention in May 2020.
Wayfare is the parent company to Real Journeys, the Cardrona Alpine Resorts, the International Antarctic Centre, Go Orange and Canyon Food & Brew Co. Fifty-six-year-old Lauder said that once the purchase of Treble Cone was completed, he felt the time was right to step down.
Lauder became Chief Executive of tourism company Real Journeys in 2012, and is largely responsible for the company's massive expansion and rebranding as Wayfare. Chairman Jim Boult acknowledged that the company “tripled in size” in the eight years Lauder was executive.
In 2013, the company purchased Cardrona Alpine Resort and started its summer operations as New Zealand’s highest mountain bike park. “Cardrona was a run down but much-loved ski area when we purchased the business in 2013,” said Lauder. “It has now been transformed into New Zealand’s most popular mountain.” The resort receives around 330,000 unique visits across the year from single, multi-day and season pass holders.
According to Lauder, Wayfare’s ski portfolio was “capped off” with the purchase of Treble Cone in January 2020, bringing both local mountains under the Cardrona Alpine Resorts banner.
Cardona Manager Bridget Legnavsky paid tribute to Lauder, saying that the resort “flourished” under his direction. “He has taught us to be brave and confident in what we believe in. He has set us up very well for the future, and we can only be grateful for this,” she added.
Lauder will also resign from his role as Tourism Industry Association chairman. “I intend to be a tourist myself, travel and reconsider the next phase of my life,” he said.