Beaver Creek’s Roberts to step aside |

Beaver Creek’s Roberts to step aside

Daily staff report
Vail, CO Colorado

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Vail Resorts announced Wednesday that after 35 years with the company, Jim Roberts, vice president of mountain operations for Beaver Creek, will retire from this position in August 2011. Roberts will remain with Vail Resorts working on special company projects including those related to the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships such as the construction of the new women’s downhill. Late in the summer of 2011 the resort will seek his replacement.

“This announcement is bittersweet for me personally and for the company,” said John Garnsey, co-president of Vail Resorts’ Mountain Division. “While Jimmy’s vision, leadership and sharp attention to detail will be missed on a day-to-day basis at Beaver Creek, in his new role he’ll be an instrumental part of the projects associated with the 2015 World Championships and we’re excited he’ll be able to pursue personal interests while still providing a great service to the company.”

“My time with Vail Resorts means the world to me and my family,” Jim Roberts said. “It’s incredible to wake up each day and share in a passion where we come together on the slopes and the thrill of making turns on any trail brings a huge smile to every face. I’ve been fortunate to work with so many outstanding individuals during my time here and I couldn’t be more proud of the mountain ops crews and the many individuals at the resort that I work with every day who go the extra mile to provide arguably one of the best ski experiences in the world. I’m looking forward to putting on my hunting boots and fishing waders a bit more, and I’m also eager to focus on special projects.”

Roberts began his career with Vail Associates in the fall of 1975, when he worked at Vail Mountain. In addition to running ski racing events at Vail, Jim oversaw many on-mountain construction projects including significant resort terrain expansions into China Bowl and Blue Sky Basin. International ski racing also made its way to Vail and with a solid background in trail construction, course building naturally fell under Roberts’ guidance. This led to his oversight of the construction of the Bernard Russi-designed 1989 World Alpine Ski Championships courses in Beaver Creek along with major course modifications in Vail.

In the fall of 1997, using course designer Russi’s plans again, Roberts and his team built the Birds of Prey speed courses that stand as one of the world’s toughest and most respected annual stops on the men’s World Cup. The course also has some of the most advanced safety netting and features to protect not only the racers, but also the race officials. This model has been put into practice at other race venues around the globe.

During the fall of 1999, Roberts moved to Beaver Creek to work as the director of mountain operations and in 2003 he was promoted to vice president of mountain operations. While at Beaver Creek, Roberts oversaw terrain expansions including Grouse Mountain, Bachelor Gulch and Stone Creek Chutes. His expertise also was an integral part of building not only the Birds of Prey race course but also working with the Vail Valley Foundation and the International Ski Federation to host the 1999 World Alpine Ski Championships. He was a part of the organizing group that successfully landed the 2015 Championships.

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