For detailed information about The Rocky Mountain Outlook and Great West Newspapers, go to www.GreatWest.ca
The Rocky Mountain Outlook is Bow Valley's No. 1 source for local news and events.
History of the Rocky Mountain Outlook
In the autumn of 2000, three long-time Bow Valley residents – Larry Marshall, Bob Schott and Carol Picard – began serious planning for a new publication in the Canmore-Banff corridor, one that would cover all communities from Lake Louise to Kananaskis.
Theirs was a novel idea for the day – a free distribution weekly that would put into the hands of residents and the area’s millions of tourists the news, entertainment and sports from the communities in which they lived and vacationed, and offer the area’s advertisers an effective vehicle to reach those visitors.
Schott, a 20-plus-year resident of Canmore became sales manager. Picard, former editor of the Canmore Leader and a 15-year resident of Canmore, became editor, and Marshall, another 15-year resident and former managing editor of both the Canmore Leader and Banff Crag & Canyon, was publisher.
Going head-to-head on two fronts with the area’s two existing weeklies – the Canmore Leader and The Banff Crag & Canyon – meant few gave the Rocky Mountain Outlook much chance of survival. Not only did they not charge for individual copies, they debuted a mere nine days after Sept. 11, 2001, when the world’s tourism market had completely evaporated.
But by going direct-to-press with pages and being fully digital meant the paper was far more nimble than any weekly publication at that time, allowing for later deadlines and actual breaking news in its coverage. The Outlook also offered full process colour extensively throughout, much to the delight of both readers and advertisers. Self-financed by the three, the paper did indeed flounder at first, but its combination of gritty determination and outstanding talent, from photographers, reporters and ad designers all the way up to senior management, won them the market, reader by reader and advertiser by advertiser.
By the end of its second year, circulation had climbed to 12,000-plus and the paper grew from 36 to 72 pages. By the summer of 2008, the Outlook was routinely running at 104 pages.
By 2004, when the paper was finally eligible for membership in the Canadian Community Newspaper Association and the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association, it had already become the talk of the industry in Western Canada and began winning the first of dozens of national and provincial awards it has earned since, everything from Best Newspaper overall in its circulation class to Best Photography, Feature Writing, Editorial Writing, Ad Design and Cartooning.
In 2003, Marshall left the paper to return to his roots in Manitoba. In 2005, the remaining partners sold the Rocky Mountain Outlook to Black Press. After much interest by other prospective buyers, they determined that Black was the perfect owner for the paper they had birthed.
In 2008, Schott died of cancer after a long and spirited battle. In September of that same year, Marshall died of a heart attack while living in Brandon, Manitoba. Picard left in December of 2008 to pursue other passions, secure in the knowledge the Outlook was in the hands of an extraordinary team of talented and dedicated journalists, many of them the original staff of 2001.