(Last Updated On: December 23, 2009)
The headquarters of Vail Resorts are located in Broomfield, CO, a suburb of Denver. I kind of find it sad that these ski areas are being run from some office park in a city. Perhaps it is a romantic notion that a ski area should be run by someone local and involved in a community, or perhaps it’s a real problem with today’s resort conglomerates.
When I was younger, my dad pointed out someone in a lift line in Winter Park and said, “That’s Jerry Groswold.” He went on to tell me that Mr. Groswold was the president and CEO of Winter Park, but still made it a point to ski every day Winter Park was running. Legend has it that he never missed a day. So what, you say? Well, if a lift operator reeked of booze and the bathroom was dirty and the hamburger seemed more like a hockey puck, Jerry knew it. Maybe I was just young and impressionable, but I’ve always thought that that is exactly how a ski area should be run.
I wonder how often the president/CEO of Vail Resorts visits Keystone/Breckenridge/Vail/Beaver Creek/Heavenly, and puts himself in the shoes of a customer. Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Or maybe the business of skiing has become so disconnected with plain old skiing that resorts forget what business they’re really in. As the baby boomers keep retiring from skiing, skier visits keep going down- and I’m not sure what ski areas are doing about it. Maybe they should start by skiing themselves, every day, and keeping their headquarters located in the ski areas they run.
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