New SAMMY Winners Announced

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SAM Magazine--Woodbury, Ct., April 18, 2007--In recognition of the accomplishments of up-and-coming personnel in the winter sports industry, SAM Magazine has chosen Chris Bates (Cataloochee Ski Area), Chris Jarnot (Vail Resorts), and Jeff Summers (Wolf Mountain) as the winners of the 10th Annual SAMMY Future Leadership Awards. Winter Park's Bob Holme received the Diversity Leadership Award. Pictures and bios can be viewed on this site at:

Chris Bates, VP/GM at Cataloochee Ski Area, N.C., took his first industry job in the rental shop at Hidden Valley, N.J. Chris worked in several departments until 1992, when he became mountain manager. In 1999, Chris moved to Cataloochee as assistant ski area manager. He became mountain manager in 2005, and by 2006, was making national news for operating the first ski area to open in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast-and one of the first in the entire East. He has orchestrated several improvements at the area, including automated snowmaking, improved grooming, expanded and updated rental operations, and lift expansion. Under his leadership, the area has recorded two record seasons in a row.

Chris Jarnot, senior VP marketing and sales for Vail Resorts, is a Vail guy from the start. A Vail local, he graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in tourism management and marketing. An internship in the Vail advertising department led to stints as director of advertising and direct marketing and to director of reservations and VP of marketing for Vail and Beaver Creek. He currently oversees the marketing and sales efforts of all Vail Resorts' mountain and lodging businesses.

Jeff Summers, mountain manager for Wolf Mountain, Utah, is another local who made good. He first began working at the resort, formerly known as Nordic Valley when he was 12 years old, bumping chairs in exchange for a hamburger or soda. He signed on more formally in 1977. From 1989 to 1995, Jeff moved to Deer Valley, but returned to his first love in 2004 after it was purchased by new owners. Jeff updated all the chairlifts and the grooming vehicles, expanded the snowmaking system and added a terrain park, transforming a sleepy community area into what has become a favorite family destination in northern Utah.

Now in its second year, the SAM Diversity Leadership Award recognizes those individuals or companies that are proactively targeting and welcoming emerging markets. Bob Holme, youth marketing and terrain park manager at Winter Park, was one of the key founders of the Ruby Hill Rail Yard, a free snow park located in a Denver city park. In the first month of operation, the park hosted 3,500 inner-city kids and gave them a taste of the mountains in the most unlikely of places. "He was able to rally everyone, right on up to the Mayor of Denver, to get behind the project and by overcoming all obstacles, he completed the project in under seven months (unheard of when working with the government)," says one admirer.

SAM salutes these four distinguished leaders and thanks them for their contributions to the industry.

The SAMMY's are made possible by the generous support of the following sponsors: American Express, Leitner-Poma of America, RSN and Wells Fargo Insurance services.