Chris Cares, Managing Director
Chris Cares possesses a diverse background in public and private planning and market research. A founding partner of RRC Associates, he specializes in practical applications of quantitative and qualitative research including surveys, modeling, focus group facilitation, and public outreach for problem solving in a variety of industries and settings. His research and recommendations have helped to shape both the design and marketing strategies of major resorts and other developer clients, as well as advertising campaigns, hospitality performance evaluations, and community development programs. He has coordinated the planning and public processing of numerous large resort and mixed-use projects. In addition, for over 20 years he has managed customer feedback programs and other efforts designed to improve the function and performance of organizations. Housing and real estate-related needs assessments are particular areas of specialization. Chris has an undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester and a Master’s degree from Harvard University.
chris [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Sean Maher, CEO
Sean Maher guides the overall market research and consulting practice for RRC Associates. His background in downtown management and tourism/recreation, as well as a unique perspective on visitor experiences, special events, and retailing, is invaluable to the team at RRC. Sean served as the CEO of the Downtown Boulder Partnership for 10 years. He previously served as Executive Director of the Boulder Economic Council and Small Business Development Center for the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. Earlier in his career, he owned multiple Ben & Jerry’s stores in Boulder and Denver, as well as Taos Mountain Outfitters on the historic Taos Plaza. Sean has been very active with the International Downtown Association, serving on the IDA board and hosting the 2018 National College Town Summit. He also serves on the board of the Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau and has been a monthly columnist for the Boulder Daily Camera for 16 years, focusing on economic and civic issues.
sean [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Dave Belin, Director of Consulting Services
Dave Belin has been a senior director at RRC Associates since 2001 and is currently the Director of Consulting Services. He brings strong analytical skills and a common-sense approach to help clients understand the implications of research findings. Dave works closely with RRC’s travel and tourism clients, including DMOs, hotels, attractions, and ski resorts. His work has formed the basis of numerous strategic and marketing plans for resorts and other tourism-based clients. As the primary author of the ski industry’s NSAA Economic Analysis, Dave has an excellent understanding of the financial state of the ski resort business. He has a B.A. in American History from Yale University and a MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
davidb [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
David Becher, Director of Research
David Becher has served as the lead analyst on market research projects for a variety of clients in the skiing, tourism, and real estate industries, including authoring NSAA’s annual National Demographic and Kottke (resort operations) reports for the past ten years. He has also served as the primary planner/analyst on a variety of housing, growth management, and economic assessment/impact studies, and heads up RRC’s lodging occupancy tracking research. David has Master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Administration from University of Colorado at Denver, and an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
david [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Mike Simone, Senior Associate
Mike Simone has been involved in a variety of research projects to the ski, gaming and travel industries, providing timely information to policy-makers on various important issues. Examples of reports and projects include those documenting priorities for capital improvement decisions, pricing strategies, market-specific targeting, and other information relating to visitor opinions, satisfaction tracking and perceptions of product experience. Mike has also been engaged in a series of economic impact analyses measuring the effect of different special events in attracting visitors to resort vacation destinations. In addition, Mike has developed a niche in implementing parks, recreation, and open space needs assessment studies for towns and communities, the results of which typically become incorporated into the long-range goal of developing master plans. Mike has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geography from Oklahoma State University.
mike [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Jake Jorgenson, Senior Research Analyst
Jake Jorgenson has over a decade of experience in visitor research specifically revolving around parks and public land, outdoor recreation, community perceptions and tourism. Since joining RRC, he has served as the lead analyst on park and recreation needs assessments/master plan surveys, community expectations projects, and tourism and recreation analyses. Jake has extensive expertise in visitor behaviors, travel and recreation experiences, expectations, and nature-based tourism. Jake holds a Ph.D. in Forestry and Conservation Science from the University of Montana, a M.S. in Recreation Management from the University of Montana, and a B.S. in Recreation and Tourism Studies from the University of North Dakota.
jake [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Lot Geels, Senior Data Analyst
Lot Geels joined RRC Associates in June 2014, after moving to Boulder, CO from the Netherlands. She has extensive experience in research, statistical methods, and data management. Lot excels in working with highly complex datasets, optimizing data processes, and developing new analysis and reporting tools to help inform clients in their marketing efforts. She is the primary analyst for the NSAA Kottke End of Season Study, the Beginner Conversion Study, National Demographic Study, and numerous other important research projects at RRC. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from the University of Amsterdam and a PhD in Behavior Genetics from the VU University Amsterdam.
lot [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Sandy Holt, Senior Research Analyst
Sandy Holt has over 8 years of experience as a data analyst and joined RRC Associates as a Senior Research Analyst in 2019. She excels in preparing, analyzing and reporting data and has strong written and oral communication skills to summarize and present findings to decision makers and develop strategic recommendations. Sandy has an entrepreneurial personality and spirit, with over 7 years’ direct experience of small business ownership, operation and management. Sandy is a proven leader, problem solver and mentor with ability to focus on both tactical efforts and strategic goals. Sandy specializes in quantitative and qualitative analysis, data and process integration, dashboard and visualization development, and project management. Sandy has a B.S. in Meteorology from Florida State University.
sandy [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Lucy Harbor, Senior Research Analyst
Lucy Harbor joined RRC as a Senior Research Analyst in 2019, bringing a background in tourism research and special events, as well as a personal passion for travel and outdoor recreation. She has strong skills in qualitative research methods, science communication, and project management. Lucy has specialized in studying the social and environmental impacts of tourism and parks and protected areas on local communities and destinations, while her background in teaching enables her to successfully translate science and data into formats that are meaningful to broad audiences. Prior to graduate school, Lucy worked as a special event and conference manager, helping plan and produce a wide range of events for audiences from 12 to over 26,000 people. Lucy holds a dual-title M.S. in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management (RPTM) and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment (HDNRE) from The Pennsylvania State University, and a B.A. in Event Planning from Indiana University. While she’s brand new to calling Colorado home, she grew up skiing the front range of the Rockies and taking advantage of the many recreation and tourism opportunities the greater Denver area has to offer.
lucy [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Colin Cares, Research Analyst
Based in Carbondale, Colorado, Colin Cares is a highly skilled data analyst and data visualist. At RRC Associates, Colin has been an “in-house expert” in applying Tableau, SPSS, and other data analysis tools to create clear and compelling visualizations of data and help uncover research insights on a diversity of projects. Colin also has an in-depth background in digital marketing platforms and tools, including experience with Google Analytics, Doubleclick, Bid Manager, AdWords, Tag Manager, and Facebook Ad Manager. Colin has a B.A. in English from Colorado College.
colin [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Ethan Adams, Data Analyst
Ethan Adams has experience in conducting research with non-profit and educational institutions, as well as working with clients to conduct personalized social research, such as program evaluations, employee/customer satisfaction studies, and institutional needs assessments. Specifically, Ethan’s research with non-profit organizations has helped to inform the development of vital partnerships and communication channels between homeless service providers in Colorado communities. Ethan holds a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Northern Colorado and specializes in research on social networks and human relationships. Ethan joined RRC Associates in September 2018 as a Data Analyst and uses his skills and knowledge to develop and analyze surveys for our clients.
ethan [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Sue Rothchild, Qualitative Research Manager
Sue Rothchild is responsible for fielding interviewers for RRC’s in-person research projects. These responsibilities include the hiring, training, scheduling and managing of the research interviewers, as well as being the liaison between interviewers (with their timely in-the-field observations) and project managers. Sue also uses her background in technical writing and editing to give feedback to the survey creation process. In addition, Sue is the focus center manager and handles the details of putting together focus group studies (including recruiting, site selection, hosting, and assessing the client’s needs). Sue truly enjoys working with RRC staff and clients to deliver insightful research results that exceed our clients’ expectations. Sue has a B.A. in Journalism/English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. In her free time, Sue loves hiking; social and ballroom dancing; singing; and attending music, arts and community events.
sue [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Katie Darrah, Data Manager
katie [at] rrcassociates [dot] com
Donna Kubancik, Office Manager
donna [at] rrcassociates [dot] com