Daily Editorial: Vail loses two leaders
Vail CO, Colorado
It was with mixed feelings that we heard the announcement this week that Vail Mountain chief Bill Jensen is leaving for Intrawest. While we wish him the best of luck, his departure is not great news for Vail.
Over the past decade, Jensen has been a driving force behind the overall financial success of the ski area and the Valley in general. As a guy who worked himself up from being a lift-op, Jensen is a great example for those who would make their career in the ski industry. True, it may not be as easy a thing to do as the industry has grown ever more corporate, but hopefully Jensen’s experience will continue to inform the suits when they make promotion decisions.
It hasn’t just been Vail Mountain’s sheer size that makes it appear at or near the top of skier polls. Jensen inherited a successful hill, but he never let Vail rest on its laurels. From stepping up the grooming to greater emphasis on customer service and capital improvements such as restaurants and more high-speed lifts, Jensen was a big part of the team that has kept Vail world-class.
It will be interesting to see if Jensen can take Intrawest’s mountains to similar heights. One day on the hill at Copper or Winter Park reveals that, while they may be good ski mountains, they don’t compare to the Vail Resorts experience. As a company, Intrawest has also been a bit of a muddle lately, and there’s little doubt it will benefit from a firm hand on the helm.
Our community will also miss the presence of Cheryl Jensen, whose tireless philanthropic efforts locally have been felt, literally, around the world through her work with the Sharing Warmth Around the Globe organization.
Cheryl has also made a big difference leading the Vail Veterans Program as well as her work with the Shaw Cancer Center and other nonprofits.
” Alex Miller for the Editorial Board