SAM Magazine—Natick, Mass., Nov. 21, 2019—Vail Resorts (VR) notified a variety of personnel across the 17 recently acquired former Peak Resorts properties that their employment with the company has an end date. Most will be terminated as of May 1, 2020, with some being asked to stay on longer—into October—to help with the integration. Affected staff members were offered severance benefits based on tenure and job level. VR closed on its acquisition of Peak Resorts in September.
According to a document provided to employees, positions will be eliminated in several departments, including human resources, finance and accounting, IT, health and safety, marketing, operations, real estate, reservations, retail/rental, and sales. In some cases, entire departments were given notice that their employment was ending come spring. Most corporate-level positions carried over from Peak Resorts are being eliminated.
The document also said this is the only “organizational alignment” that will occur, and no additional changes are planned as part of the integration of the Peak Resorts properties.
Immediate leadership changes were also made at a few of the resorts, including Mad River Mountain (Ohio), where general manager Josh Faber was let go.
And according to sources, the three former Snow Time resorts in Pennsylvania underwent a leadership shakeup. Roundtop general manager Matt Thomas was let go. Whitetail general manager Brett Cook will move to that role at Roundtop, and Liberty GM Anne Weimer will replace Cook as GM at Whitetail. It is unclear who will succeed Weimer at Liberty. Vail Resorts would only confirm that Thomas is exiting.
According to an article in the Brattleboro Reformer, VR plans to help employees set to leave before April 1 find work or another role with the company. It also said it will provide options for health care continuation once coverage ends on affected employees' last day of employment.
Spokesperson Jamie Storrs told the Reformer, “Our goal with these changes is to continue to build centralized and regional structures designed to best support our growing portfolio of resorts. While we are pleased to retain the vast majority of employees across our new resorts, we do recognize how challenging change can be for everyone involved and do not make these decisions lightly."
Vail Resorts did not specify how many staff members the layoff notices affected, but the Deerfield Valley News in southern Vermont reported it involved 84 people across all 17 properties and corporate-level positions.