RTown Communications bankrupt

Whistler-based RTown Communications, a leading Canadian digital-advertising company and winner of the 2012 Whistler Excellence Awards for Innovative Business of the Year, has filed for bankruptcy. Responding to an email, company founder and CEO Don McQuaid confirmed the development Monday afternoon (Aug. 26).

"RTown's core business of TV informational programming and advertising faced various challenges as the technology evolved and the marketplace shifted," McQuaid said. "As a result, the company could not meet its current financial obligations. We were regrettably forced to file for bankruptcy, which, in the end, we felt was the best and only fair option for all the stakeholders of the company." McQuaid could not be reached for further comment.

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The RTown homepage has been taken offline, and messages left at RTown offices were not returned to The Question.

Founded in 2001 as Resort TV Network, RTown was developed for the purpose of offering resort guests up-to-the-minute information on television about topics relavent to the tourist sector. Hotel guests watching TV in their rooms can turn to a channel of promotional programming to highlight local attractions, about 80 per cent of which was the same for all hotel clients in the same market. The remainder of the programming was advertising and information specific to the hotel - such as details of its spa facilities or the menu at its restaurant.

RTown expanded over the years to deliver its advertising through multiple platforms, including television, digital signage, in-theatre advertising and mobile marketing. The company's fingerprint is most recognizable by the 28,000 LCD screens across Canada displaying advertisements in venues like elevators and bars.

As of October 2012, RTown was running in 12 markets, including locations in the Bahamas. They broadcast into more than 45,000 hotel rooms and 570 digital signs across Canada, in areas such as Whistler, Banff,Mont Tremblant, Kelowna, Vernon, Tofino and, most recently, the Vancouver Hotel Network.

With files from Business in Vancouver

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