Vail Resorts Cuts 42 from Canyons Staff

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SAM Magazine—Park City, Utah, June 26, 2013—Vail Resorts (VR) has laid off 42 full-time employees at Canyons, many of them at the department manager level or higher, as it consolidates staff at Canyons Resort here. VR signed a lease agreement to manage Canyons just a month ago.

In a prepared statement, VR spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said, “We have reviewed Canyons’ organizational structure to determine any necessary changes in order to create alignment with our other mountain resorts and entities to ensure operating efficiencies moving forward.”

Recognizing the impact the layoffs might have, VR said in its statement, "The loss of jobs, no matter how small the number of people impacted, is always difficult and is not something that we take lightly."

The statement continued, “We are hiring the vast majority of Canyons employees and look forward to having them join the Vail Resorts team effective July 1. As we announced earlier, Mike Goar will remain as Canyons general manager, and most of the current senior leadership team have been asked to join Vail Resorts.” Canyons has a total workforce of 1,800 at peak times, but far fewer full-time employees, so the 42 layoffs impact a significant minority of the former year-round staff.

Staff cuts were widely anticipated. After VR’s lease agreement with Talisker was signed, mountain division president Blaise Carrig met with Canyons employees in Park City to reassure them that most would keep their jobs. However, at the same time, he suggested VR would assess staffing levels.

According to The Snow Industry Letter, industry sources said that marketing VPs Todd Burnette and Andy Finn, senior IT head Mike Chase, ski school director Barry Stout, and risk manager Kathy Ehlers were among those laid off.