Vail Resorts Mountain Division announces several leadership changes |

Vail Resorts Mountain Division announces several leadership changes

Executive Vice President Chris Jarnot stepping down at the end of 2019

Chris Jarnot

Vail Resorts has announced that Executive Vice President Chris Jarnot will step down from his role, following a 34-year career with Vail Resorts.

Jarnot was appointed executive vice president of the company’s mountain division in December 2016 with oversight of its five Colorado resorts and Perisher in Australia. He first joined the company in 1985 and has held numerous leadership positions at Vail, Beaver Creek and within corporate, including serving as the company’s chief marketing officer and Vail Mountain’s chief operating officer. Jarnot will remain in his current role through the end of 2019 to help ensure a seamless transition.

“Chris has played a pivotal role in the success of our company across so many different areas, leaving behind a legacy of operational excellence, business sophistication and a culture of outstanding guest service,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “Chris has been a key partner to me and all our senior leaders in driving an incredible transformation at our company. We wish him all the best and sincerely thank him for all that he has done for Vail Resorts.”

With Jarnot’s transition, and in anticipation of the closing of the Peak Resorts acquisition, the company has announced the creation of three new regional leadership roles to support Vail Resorts’ global portfolio: 

Bill Rock, currently chief operating officer of Park City Mountain, will relocate to Broomfield and will now oversee the Company’s mountain resorts in Colorado and Utah; 

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Pete Sonntag, currently chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb, will relocate to Broomfield and will now oversee Whistler Blackcomb and Stevens Pass, as well as the Company’s three resorts in Lake Tahoe and three resorts in Australia;

Doug Pierini, currently chief operating officer of Okemo Mountain Resort, will continue to oversee the Company’s three Northeast resorts and will now have oversight of the Company’s three Midwest resorts, as well as the 17 Peak Resorts’ ski areas in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, pending closing of the Peak Resorts transaction. The acquisition is expected to close this fall, subject to certain conditions, including regulatory review and Peak Resorts’ shareholder approval.

In addition, the company announced that Mike Goar, currently chief operating officer of Heavenly Mountain Resort, will become the chief operating officer of Park City Mountain; Geoff Buchheister, currently general manager of Keystone Resort, will become the chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb; Tom Fortune, currently general manager of Kirkwood Mountain Resort, will become general manager of Heavenly Mountain Resort; and, pending closing of the Peak Resort transaction, Bruce Schmidt, currently general manager of Mt. Sunapee Resort, will become the general manager of Okemo Mountain Resort. 

“During this transitional and exciting time at our company, we’re thrilled to announce the creation of these three new leadership roles and a strategic reorganization of our mountain division,” said Pat Campbell, president of the mountain division of Vail Resorts. “With oversight over distinct regions, we know Bill, Pete and Doug will ensure that our resorts have the leadership they need to maintain their unique identities while aligning to the world-class guest service, safety and operational standards Vail Resorts is known for. Each of these new regional leaders and COO moves come from within our own team, demonstrating the deep bench of talent at Vail Resorts. I am thrilled for these leaders and look forward to a successful 2019/20 season.”

Friday’s announced leadership changes will go into effect ahead of the 2019/20 ski season. The process to fill the open leadership roles at Keystone and Kirkwood will begin immediately, while the process to fill the Mt. Sunapee leadership role will begin after the close of the Peak Resorts acquisition.

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