Thomas Grandi and Sara Renner

High performance athletes turned Boutique Hotel owners

imgOlympic medalist Sara Renner and World Cup Champion Thomas Grandi may have retired from competitive skiing but they didn’t park their skis too far from the front door. Sliding into the business world they bought Paintbox Lodge in Canmore, Alberta and are now raising their young family amidst the glorious Rocky Mountains.

Moving from high performance athletics to business isn’t that much of a stretch.  Most athletes do four year business plans when getting ready for an Olympics and run their careers like a business.  But Grandi admits there was one thing he had to learn.

“Patience.  When you go out of the start gate any thing is possible and you could go from last to first.  In business even though you have a happy customer they may not come back until next year.”

But Grandi and Renner are still winning and business has doubled since last year.

“I’m hoping people will stay with us and take a walk along the river path.” Sara says. They will find their soul is quieted and they can be rejuvenated before going back to their busy lives.”

Top of the podium advice from two high performance athletes turned business people.


Climbing the mountain

• Setbacks are your best opportunity for future improvement.

• Get the most from your team and offer incentives that benefit everyone - like profit sharing.

• Have perspective in your working life and prioritize the things that mean a lot to you. Your business will have more chance of success if you are happy.

• If you are stumped, go for a run, walk, ski or do some yoga. Get the blood circulating to your brain and great thoughts will follow.

• The first person you have to convince that you can be a champion is yourself.