Six-word bio: "Put it all on the line.”Goodspeed turned a passion for skateboarding into a position where he oversees all aspects of Whaleback’s mountain operations and is also part owner of the resort.
First, let’s get this straight. Dylan Goodspeed is a skateboarder. And, like all skaters, it’s about roots. So when you ask him about how he ended up as the area manager and part owner of Whaleback, he summons his roots, which is skating, and how he partnered with his father and a guy named Frank Sparrow to start a skatepark way back in 1990. The park is why he ended up at this freeride-oriented mountain, which is also owned by former pro skier Evan Dybvig and Sparrow.
“The park evolved over the years,” says Goodspeed of his early days. “And then Evan approached us in 2005 and we came over here.”
The move resulted in Goodspeed and Sparrow partnering with Dybvig to reopen Whaleback, which was shuttered from 2001 to 2005. In its new incarnation, the partners turned Whaleback into a kind of X-Games mecca, with year-round action sports activities, including the aforementioned skatepark along with a revamped on-snow focus toward freeride, freestyle and park.
“Dylan’s background was in running a skatepark, camps and a summer construction business,” says Dybvig. “He has a passion for winter sports, but the amount he has learned, grown and developed is tremendous.”
“When I first started, you think you’re going to ski all the time,” admits Goodspeed. “But I don’t ski nearly as much as I used to. We have one lift and one cat, and if either of those things go down, we have to fix them, because the mountain might not be able to open if we can’t get them up and running.”
And when things go wrong, Goodspeed feels the pressure. “I oversee all on-hill mountain operations, terrain park, snowmaking, grooming and lifts,” he says. “And I oversee all of the events in the summer, too.”
“The challenge is the lack of resources,” adds Goodspeed. “We’re a small, small facility, and a lot of our equipment is outdated. Maintenance is key. You plan accordingly and put in a lot of hard work.”
And work he does. “Dylan works harder than anybody I have ever met,” says Dybvig, who, as a two-time former Olympian and eight-year veteran of the U.S. Ski Team, knows something about hard work and commitment. “I can trust Dylan to do what he says he will do. I seek his advice on all critical issues and value his input and clear thinking.”
But while Goodspeed acknowledges how tough being a hands-on owner at a small resort is, he’s not afraid to enjoy the things that make small resorts special.
“We had a tree fall on the lift, a three-story-high tree,” he reminisces. “It was on the biggest day of the whole season, we had a ski race, a boardercross, and everyone pulled together, and we were able to open almost on time. It was one of the worst moments and it became one of the best moments. We are like family. Because we are small, everyone does so many things, and everyone is here because they love Whaleback and the industry.”