In a recent article, SAM Magazine reports that KSL Capital Partners and Aspen SkiCo will be acquiring Deer Valley Resort, a purchase that continues a recent pattern of “ski resort ownership consolidation” (SAM Magazine). The article goes on to say that, “In just the last six months, the yet-to-be-named joint venture has combined Intrawest, Mammoth Resorts, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and Aspen Ski Company” (SAM Magazine). And with the recent purchase of Deer Valley, the buying spree doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Previously, Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass was an unrivaled pass option for skiers who wanted to visit and ski at a variety of amazing resorts. But with KSL/SkiCo’s recent acquisitions, the joint-venture is shaping up to be Vail’s biggest competitor in the super-pass market. Although KSL/SkiCo hasn’t released any mega-passes yet for this season, it is certainly a major possibility for next winter.
As with many of these recent purchases, there are some concerns that KSL/SkiCo’s acquisition will result in major changes for Deer Valley, which has been privately owned since the resort opened in 1981 (McCombs). Hopefully, most of these concerns are unwarranted. This is supported in a statement by David Perry, president and COO of the joint venture, saying, “We look forward to working with the staff and Park City community to carry on the traditions that make [Deer Valley] so special” (SAM Magazine).
When I walked in on the first day of class to Alpine Operations, Leadership, and Management I had no idea what I was in for. As someone who has never even had a pair of ski boots on her feet, I was a bit intimidated by this class dealing with an industry I knew nothing about. Luckily, my class was full of experienced alpine students many of whom work on mountains in and around Franklin county.
Our first task as a class was to decide on an event that we would all take part in planning. We decided to hold a ski and snowboard event over spring break. This gave us only three weeks to get our proposal approved and market the event. We choose Titcomb Mountain as our location and with the help of their General Manager Megan Roberts, our proposal was approved. With Titcomb offering skiing and snowboarding for every age and skill level we decided our events should be just as inclusive. With eight events planned my class got to work advertising our event The Titcomb Challenge. With events like a boot race, costume contest, ollie contest, and a light parade we hoped to attract all ages. We used posters, a facebook event, a press release, and tabling in the students center to get the word out.
Finally, the day had arrived, I walked into the lodge at 8 A.M. and set up the registration table. Everyone working the first shift was groggy and nervous, we had no idea if anyone would show up to this event we had put so much work into. Our Professor Clyde Mitchell kept morale up as we waited for people to arrive at the mountain. The first people to sign up were two little kids who couldn’t wait to compete! One of them was our first winner coming in first place for our boot race. As the day continued events were running smoothly and every team member was hard at work.
The day ended at 9 P.M. with everyone participating in a light parade down the main slope and gathering in the lodge around a fire.
My class learned a lot about leadership and how planning an event can bring the community together.