Cate Thero specializes in strategic planning and marketing strategies for public-private tourism entities, integrated destination resorts, and leisure attractions. Cate has worked in the leisure and tourism industry for 20 years as a consultant, a marketing and sales executive, acquisition specialist, and resort general manager. Cate has worked on over 50 consulting engagements throughout North America, Europe, the Caribbean and South Pacific. Her unique well-rounded background allows her to approach complex situations and develop strategies and tactics for unlocking hidden value via insightful analytics, creative marketing and tourism strategies, and operational enhancements.
Cate led RCA's recently completed Tourism Master Plan engagement for American Samoa that was an extensive, multi-disciplinary long-term strategic plan to develop, market, implement and fund tourism as a means to replace the loss revenues from the declining tuna cannery industry. The project involved soliciting input from a wide variety of public and private sector stakeholders, assessing the economic impact of tourism, reviewing and recommending government policies and practices, as well as evaluating the natural resources and infrastructural requirements. Cate managed a consulting team that including experts in land planning, architecture, hotel development, marketing and sales, and environmental science in order to create the specific sections included in the Tourism Master Plan.
Prior to joining RCA, Cate was a Vice President at Economics Research Associates (ERA) and managed the ERA San Diego office, where she worked on a variety of real estate and tourism development, hotel branding, and financial consulting projects for resorts and tourism destinations on a global basis.
Cate supports her consulting expertise with twelve years of hands-on resort and tourism management. For over seven years, Cate worked for Intrawest, a resort development and operational management company that owned numerous ski, beach and golf destination resorts. As the VP of Marketing and Sales, Cate oversaw the marketing plans and sales strategies that created over $400 million in resort and hospitality revenues at the various resorts with approximately 7,800 lodging units under management; while leading a corporate team with specialties in conference and group sales, market research, revenue management, eMarketing, and call centers. In the role of Acquisitions, Cate worked with complex financial models to review dozens of resort development and acquisition opportunities, with key criteria being the financial and market feasibility of real estate sales, profits from on-going operations, and strategic "fit" with Intrawest's objectives.
Prior to working with Intrawest, Cate was the General Manager of Bear Mountain Resort in Big Bear, CA with full responsibility for all aspects of the ski and golf resort operations. Cate also worked as the Director of Hotel Marketing for Sunday River Resort in Maine and led the successful start-up marketing and sales of a new conference hotel within the resort. Complementing her strong operational and consulting background, Cate started her career as a Financial Analyst with J.P. Morgan in New York.
Cate holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and International Management from Georgetown University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Harvard Business School. Cate is a Full Member of the Urban Land Institute Recreation Development Council.
Cell: (619) 988-5077