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Maybe change name, too

Don Rogers

New Vail Resorts CEO Robert Katz’s first big move wasn’t exactly the brightest. This morning, at the same time he was announced as the new chief, the company also announced it was moving its headquarters and about 100 employees to Denver.

Something about being more “centrally located,” working elbow to elbow with the lodging unit, and “capitalizing” on opportunity.

So the ski company that’s oft-accused of losing touch with its bread and butter is putting some distance from the slopes. Mainly symbolically. But now the top execs truly will be cut off from the vibe, no longer able to sneak away on occasion to get some powder, not living among the hoi poloi who live the life. Won’t they be missing something essential?



Katz lives in the Front Range. Why does that fact tickle the mind so?

The “centrally located” comment in his e-mail to company employees this morning is interesting too ” “particularly when you consider the possibility of further strategic expansion.” What, they’re going to open a ski hill at Scott’s Bluff?

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Vail Resort ought to move closer to the namesake mountain that sustains it. Its top executives should be more visible rather than less so. It should indeed be more about skiing and less about corporate gobbledygook. The top folks should understand their core product in their bones, able to get it with a glance out the window, rather than through reports and meetings and being just any company.

Or, to really signal a move out of the mountains, change the name. If Vail Resorts being based in the greater Vail community isn’t central enough, why not just go with “Denver Resorts?”

Doesn’t seem Vail is all that important to these folks anymore.


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