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Chris Bates, Cataloochee Ski Area President, 2007 SAMMY Winner

Best Day/Worst Day/Most Memorable in the business?
My best day is anytime it’s cold, snowy, and the guests are having a good time. Worst day was the day the compressor building caught on fire. So many great days, I can’t pick one memorable one over the other. I have been fortunate to have a career in which 99 percent of the days are great ones.

Who was/is a memorable mentor?
My first mentor was Greg Pier. My mentor today is Tony Waddell.

If you could work in another industry doing something completely different, what would it be?
If I worked in another industry I would like to run a manufacturing plant. I know this sounds crazy, but I like seeing stuff made.

When was the last time you actually purchased a lift ticket?
I have only purchased one lift ticket in the last 30 years.

How many days do you go without washing your ski / snowboard socks?
I never wash my ski socks until spring.

What’s the last thing you searched in Google?
The last thing I searched on Google was for metal working tools. Metalworking has become a hobby of mine.

Where do you keep your SAMMY Award?
My SAMMY Award sits on the window ledge in my office at home.

Thoughts on the future?
I think the future is bright for the ski industry. I hope we can get back to focusing on the skiing and less on real estate.

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