Bill Rock, Park City Mountain Chief Operating Officer, 2005 SAMMY Winner
Where you were in your career when you won a SAMMY, and big moments since?
The NSAA meeting was in Phoenix when I won my SAMMY and I was moving from Durango, Colorado to Snowshoe, West Virginia to re-join Intrawest as the COO of Snowshoe. I had just finished two years at Purgatory as the COO, and it was the first time I had held that position in my career. My career was still relatively new as I’d only been in the ski industry for nine years, so I was thrilled to receive the recognition and to be progressing to bigger and bigger roles.
The biggest moment in my career since the SAMMY came when Vail Resorts selected me to lead its newest acquisition, Northstar, in 2010. That moment, and my success with the company, allowed me to be here in Park City today leading one of the coolest projects in the industry.
Best Day/Worst Day/Most Memorable in the business?
Every day on the mountain is a “Best Day!” There are so many, but most recently the best day was when we cut the ribbon on all of our improvements at Park City. It was so fun to see all of the team’s hard work, planning, and vision come to life, and to showcase the gondola, restaurants, trails and new lifts to the world.
Who was/is a memorable mentor?
I’ve been so fortunate to have incredible mentors throughout my career. Dan Fuller at Bristol Mountain took a chance on me and gave me my start. Tim Beck [former Vail Resorts VP] shared his wisdom, experience, and vision about mountain planning and managing complex capital projects. But, the most influential mentor for me has been Blaise Carrig, former mountain president for Vail Resorts. He brought me into the company, provided incredible leadership and was truly committed to my success and development as a leader.
Did you ever almost leave the industry, and why? Why did you stay?
I have never come close to leaving the industry. I love what I do, I love our company and I love the industry. I really can’t envision myself doing anything else that would fuel my passion for the people, the mountains and delivering amazing experiences to our guests.
If you could work in another industry doing something completely different, what would it be?
I would work with and around racecars. It would be fascinating to be around a Formula-1 Team or other highly focused, results oriented, sophisticated racing program.
When was the last time you actually purchased a lift ticket?
Last year. We were at a youth ski race with the kids and I bought the parent ticket.
How many days do you go without washing your ski / snowboard socks?
Hmmm…maybe a week?
What’s the last thing you searched in Google?
The flight schedule to Whistler Blackcomb.
I love watching western movies, especially Clint Eastwood.
Where do you keep your SAMMY Award?
I keep it at home in a safe spot…with all my other trophies.
Thoughts on the future?
The future of the ski industry is bright. I’m consistently impressed by the leadership and talent of our emerging leaders as the business and our guests become more sophisticated.