Sky McLean is a Canadian entrepreneur in the hospitality space that has built a successful empire with her company Basecamp Resorts, a business that provides modern boutique hotels in locations across Alberta and British Columbia. After receiving her MBA in real estate from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Sky moved to Calgary, Alberta to work with a local developer. While there, Sky became interested in the Airbnb business model and managed to secure a bank loan to open her first mountain hotel property. Since then, Sky and her team have managed to turn Basecamp Resorts into Western Canada’s fastest growing hospitality brand. Currently, Basecamp Resorts runs seven modern mountain boutique hotel properties and Sky plans to open six more locations over the next three years.
My first job ever was… Babysitting at age 12, every day after school. It was for a family with three kids, two dogs, two turtles, and a cat. I dealt with homework, piano lessons, friend dates, and pretty much everything else in between! It was mayhem!
I first became interested in real estate when… I was a kid. My parents loved to look at open houses and I got dragged along with them.
I decided to become an entrepreneur because… I was frustrated by the way other people did things and the way they looked at making deals. I thought there was a better way.
I decided to launch my first boutique mountain hotel property, Basecamp Resorts, in 2017 because… I believe in the home-away-from-home hospitality model. It’s the best way to travel. I was and still am on a quest to brand what I’m offering with Basecamp Resorts — we provide guests with all the comforts of home in our suites like kitchens, living areas, washer/dryers, and multi-bedrooms, but we also have all of the amenities and conveniences of a hotel like 24-hour concierges, room cleaning services, hot tubs, and more.
I expanded the Basecamp Resorts brand because… I believe that the modern traveller has a desire to stay in this type of property, where they feel at home while travelling. Canada is home to some of the world’s most picturesque mountain destinations, and I want to provide interesting experiences to people coming to explore and have adventures in these beautiful communities, from couples, to groups of friends, to families.
“If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be the fact that I am royally determined to grow this business, no matter what.”
I’m passionate about hospitality because… I love to travel the world while still having the comforts of home while I’m away. I always knew I wanted to offer this experience to all of my guests.
My proudest accomplishment is… Having my two kids. In business, it would be opening the doors to the first Basecamp Resorts property in Canmore in August 2017.
My biggest setback was… Getting debt financing for my first Basecamp Resorts property.
I overcame it by… Persevering.
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is… Listen to your heart and your gut, and don’t let anyone influence you about what to do if it’s not what you truly feel is right.
The one piece of advice I give that I have trouble following myself is… There are times when you have to say no to a deal.
The thing I love most about what I do is… The people; from working every day with my incredibly talented team to meeting all the wonderful guests who stay with us.
If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… The fact that I am royally determined to grow this business, no matter what.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… I biked 8,000 km across Canada on a road bike.
I stay inspired by….. Continuing to have my passions outside of the business, like mountain biking and skiing.
The future excites me because… I love what I do and who I do it with.