If you were with us in Rio last month you may have met with the charming Matt Guenther, who was working as a host with us for the first time. What you may not have known is that Matt has been travelling with Roadtrips for as long as he can remember, as his dad is company president Dave Guenther. “At five or six I’d go on baseball tours around the States that my mom and dad were leading, I went to the Stanley Cup in 2006 with my dad, lived in South Africa for a few months in preparation for the World Cup, and have been to several Summer and Winter Games, so I’ve been exposed to these events, but I’d never seen how they were run until this one where I got to be a Roadtrips host for the first time,” says Matt.
Although it felt a little strange at first to be working alongside the Roadtrips team that had known him for years as “this kid,” the event was so busy that there wasn’t much time to dwell on that. “It was actually really cool working with them, I really enjoyed working the event,” Matt says, “And had more fun working in the background than I’d had previously just being a spectator.”
A real highlight for Matt was getting to hang out with guests in the Roadtrips hospitality lounge at the Hotel Santa Teresa. “I met some really interesting people, and sat there late into the night having these long conversations, hearing about their lives,” says Matt, who went on to say that there was such a variety of clients, and everyone had a different situation. “For some people attending the games was a once in a lifetime opportunity, one for their bucket list, but then there were the people who were attending their third or fourth games and knew what to expect.”
It was neat for Matt to meet people that were traveling with Roadtrips again, having been to one or sometimes multiple events previously, but also to talk with those who were having such an incredible time that they were already talking about booking with us for the next Summer Games, or the World Cup. “It felt pretty satisfying,” he says.
As a sports fan, Matt really loved hosting guests who attended the 100m and swimming finals. “We had a lot of Jamaican fans on that bus, and had some fun conversations about Usain Bolt, then watched him win. I also got to see Penny Oleksiak win and Andre De Grasse in the 100m, being there as a Canadian to see these athletes have such a big Summer Games in their first go, was so amazing to see.”
After spending time there for the World Cup in 2014, Matt was already a Rio fan, so welcomed the opportunity to spend more time there. “Our offices were at The Golden Tulip in Ipanema, which is such a cool area. I walked around every day running errands and doing deliveries for people in the office, and I got to see the beach culture which is totally cool, then I’d go up to the Santa Teresa which is less chaotic and different, but still very cool,” he says. “I’d walk along the beach watching everyone on the beach and swimming in the ocean, with the mountains in the background. Unfortunately it was so busy the whole time I was there that I didn’t get to swim.”
Matt was a little surprised at how much actually went into organizing an event like this. “It was busy. Everything ran smoothly but there was so much to do. I’d never realized as a spectator how much goes into hosting these events. You set up packages in each room before the guests get there, and you welcome every single one, you’re always on the move making everything perfect for the guests,” he says. “But, it was a lot of fun.”