Eliot Jones

Assistant Mountain Manager
China Peak, Calif.

Six-word bio: "Love life. Enjoy people. Seek adventure.”

Über local Elliot Jones returned to his childhood hill where he has put his knowledge of mini-booters and his love of on-snow events to good use.

What makes someone a true local at a ski hill? One year? Five? Ten? The question is irrelevant for China Peak’s Elliot Jones. “I grew up skiing at China Peak as a kid,” says the resort’s assistant mountain manager. “I’ve skied all over the country and in Europe, but China Peak is still home. My best memories are of being a kid, taking tree runs and finding mini-booters in the trees, just having fun with my friends. I’ll always remember those days.”

Today, Jones is in charge of creating memories for the next generation of China Peak rippers. “I think one of the things I really enjoy the most is planning events,” says Jones, “whether it’s a slopestyle event or even a high school race series. We created a great high school series that’s been a lot of fun. It’s a boarder- and skiercross, a slopestyle and a GS. It runs five weekends out of the season for our high schools. It’s great being a part of events in general, and knowing that you and your crew were responsible for creating them and bringing all the fun to the mountains.”

Creating fun is a pretty good description of what Jones does in his position, although he never thought he’d end up working in the industry. “I didn’t see myself at a ski resort,” admits Jones. “But I have no complaints. I think a lot of what I face daily is challenging, but really fun. Especially being part of the terrain park and grooming teams. It’s about keeping things interesting, new, and exiting for our guests and local riders. It can be tough when you’re trying to manage a budget and also trying to keep things interesting. Sometimes you just have to put the hours in yourself. You can’t always rely on others. But the good thing is that there’s a strong desire on the part of our employees to do whatever we have to do to make things fun.”

Of course, when you’re in the fun business, it doesn’t hurt to have “a great attitude” as well as gaining recognition among your peers for being a “talented terrain park builder and groomer.”

Jones is “the next generation of mountain management,” says Tim Cohee, owner of China Peak. “He started from the bottom and worked his way up to the number two position. He is hardworking, is involved in all aspects of mountain management, from snowmaking and grooming to terrain parks, and has an excellent demeanor. He’ll do well.”

While Jones’ days hitting mini-booters are obviously paying off, “I attribute a lot of my success to my dad,” says Jones. “He’s just always been a good life coach and taught me a lot. He’s not a ski industry person, but he’s been extremely supportive.”

—Tom Winter