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January 2015

Industry Report :: January 2015

Vail Resorts to Invest $50 Million at PCMR, Peak's IPO, and other news.

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Vail Resorts will make more than $50 million worth of upgrades to Park City Mountain Resort (PCMR) for the 2015-16 ski season. The plan will connect PCMR and Canyons Resort and create a single ski area with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. Topping the makeover is an eight-passenger, high-speed gondola from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. The gondola will also have an unloading station, allowing riders to access new terrain leading into each of the resorts.

Peak Resorts closed its initial public offering, raising net proceeds of approximately $82 million. The company intends to use the funds primarily to reduce outstanding debt, with the remainder available for working capital and general corporate purposes, including future acquisitions.

A Durango businessman, James Coleman, is buying Durango Mountain Resort and Arizona Snowbowl. Further, he is teaming them with Sipapu and Pajarito, N.M., to form a four-resort group that collectively tally 3,088 acres, 26 lifts, more than 200 trails, and 13 terrain parks. Coleman, the managing partner of both Sipapu and Pajarito, has retained the incumbent management teams at both ski areas.

Karl Strand will become president and general manager of Sugarloaf, Maine, in April 2015, once current GM John Diller retires. Strand remains VP of mountain operations of sister resort Sunday River in the interim; Jake Treadwell will succeed Strand as VP of mountain ops at the River.

Vail Resorts will make several management changes effective Aug. 1, 2015. Blaise Carrig will become a senior mountain adviser. Patricia Campbell moves to president of the mountain division. John Buhler will be chief operating officer at Breckenridge, and Mike Goar will have that same role at Keystone.

At Aspen Skiing Company, David Perry becomes chief operating officer. Matt Jones retains his role as chief financial officer and adds the CIO role. Jim Laing is the new chief human resources officer. Don Schuster’s role as VP hospitality has expanded to include development and project management. Rana Dershowitz becomes chief legal counsel.

Mt. Hood Meadows has made several top-level changes. Charles “Jake” Bolland is the new COO, with Matthew Drake remaining as CEO and chairman. Monica Parker becomes director of finance; Katie Kadlub, director of business development; and Matt Troskey, director of human resources.

In the Pacific region, Alyeska Resort hired Eric Fullerton as director of marketing. ... Ted Tank is ski patrol director at Tahoe Donner, Calif., which also welcomed a new patrol dog, Tucker. … Andy Chapman is now executive director/CEO of the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau.

Ben Tutt is general manager of the recently renovated The Lodge at Vail.

Mike Waning is director of Mt. Brighton’s Ski and Snowboard School.

In the East, Mount Snow, Vt., named Hardy Merrill as mountain manager; Day Franzen accepted the grooming manager position; and Jason Perlmutter is lift services manager. … Breanne Torrey is the new executive director for New Hampshire’s Jackson Ski Touring Foundation. … At the New England Ski Museum banquet in November, Preston Leete Smith was honored with the Spirit of Skiing Award.

For the International Skiing History Association (ISHA) Seth Masia has taken over as president and is in charge of day-to-day operations. John Fry has become chairman of the board, John McMurtry was elected vice president of the board, and Wini Jones was added to its executive committee.

Five journalists received Harold S. Hirsch Awards for Excellence in Snow­sports Journalism by The North American Snowsports Journalists Association. A tip of the eyeshade to Cindy Hirschfeld (Features), Dan Egan and Kristen Lummis (Blog), Troy Hawks (Columns) and Jason Dodge (Video).

This year’s inductees into the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame are Ross Powers, Erik Schlopy, Chris Davenport, Curt Chase, Bob Smith, Joe Cushing, Kristina Koznik, John McMurtry, Jeannie Thoren and Ralph Miller.

The U.S. Ski Team named Megan Harrod as alpine press officer.

Last but not least, Zeke Davisson has been named executive director of the Kelly Brush Foundation.

Prinoth has signed a four-year agreement to be the official snowgroomer of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) through 2018. Prinoth will donate snow groomer hours specifically for official USSA training camps for U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing athletes. The term includes the teams’ preparations for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.