Kevin Maughan

Resort Services Manager
Telluride, Colo.

Six-word bio: "Kansas boy, living dream, I'm staying.”

Landing in Telluride was an accident, but Maughan’s success has been based on hard work, creative thinking, and an award-winning personality.

The story is one everyone in the ski industry has heard many times before: flatlander moves to the mountains for “just one year” and suddenly finds that the lifestyle has sucked them in. That’s exactly what happened to Kevin Maughan.

“I had an original plan to go to the Front Range,” says Maughan, who headed west from Kansas after wrapping up his education at the University of Kansas. “But I had a cousin who lived in Telluride, and so I moved there without ever seeing it. I came into town when it was dark, not really knowing what Telluride was all about, but waking up the next morning and seeing this new town was amazing—I now plan to stay as long as I can!”

His work ethic makes that a distinct long-term possibility. “Kevin oversees many functions, including snow reporting, surveying, guest service center, Ski Valet, mountain tours, retail, slopeside lockers, snowshoe guides, the list goes on,” says Elizabeth Howe, Telluride’s executive director of resort services. “He’s one of the best in the business.”

Maughan’s success has been based on his ability to connect with people of all walks of life, a key attribute for those who interact not only with a wide variety of guests, but also staff members. In a small town, the opportunities to make an impression are varied.

“I think living in such a small town enhances the opportunity with employees and guests,” says Maughan. “I look at it as an advantage to build upon the relationships not only at work, but also outside of work. It’s easy to run into people and recognize guests in town.”

It’s an approach that’s won Maughan accolades, and one that’s also allowed him to sink roots deep into the community. “I would say creating Snowshoe Stewards is one of the things I’m proudest of,” says Maughan. “It’s a program that we created for middle school students, and it’s based on a teach-back model. We educate local students on the watershed and snowpack and snowmelt, plant and animal identification, and animal tracking. And then we teach the middle school students how to teach back the information to younger students. It was great to see this curriculum incorporated into the classroom, and having the opportunity to teach and interact with them.”

Other career highlights include skiing Telluride’s famed Bear Creek Canyon and keeping his staff stoked. “Keeping the employee morale up in a less than stellar snow year is really important,” says Maughan. “Reward and recognition programs are a big help. It’s important to recognize employees when they have gone above and beyond.”

—Tom Winter