Vail’s mountain manager to depart |

Vail’s mountain manager to depart

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Slow Down2 SM 11-26

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Mountain’s vice-president of mountain operations, Brian McCartney, announced Monday that he will be leaving Vail Resorts to start a local nonprofit organization in Vail, Colorado.

“The operating team I have worked with for the last 20 years is the best in the business, and there is no doubt they will continue to improve the Vail Mountain experience, exceed guest expectations, and return Vail to its rightful spot as the top-ranked mountain resort in North America,” he said.

McCartney played a key part in bringing the mountain’s day-to-day operations, such as grooming and snowmaking, to a world-class standard, said Chris Jarnot, the mountain’s chief operating officer.

“Among Brian’s great accomplishments is the incredible mountain operations team that he built, and in whose extremely capable hands he will leave the responsibility for operating the mountain,” Jarnot said.

McCartney is a longtime Vail Mountain employee who started working on the mountain almost 35 years ago as a ski patroller.

Over the years he worked his way up in operations from ski patrol senior supervisor to director of guest services of mountain operations for both Vail and Beaver Creek to his current position.

He helped develop much of the mountain’s award-winning skier and snowboarder safety programs that other resorts have adopted and was actively involved with ski industry organizations, serving on the boards of the National Ski Patrol, National Avalanche Foundation and various committees within the National Ski Area Association.

McCartney said he plans to stay in Vail and start a new organization that will focus on “recreational endeavors on the mountain.” He declined to give any more details about the nonprofit.

“It’s just starting from scratch,” he said. “We’re planning on locating it in Vail.”

Andy Daly, former president of Vail Resorts and current Vail town councilman, said McCartney has been a great leader on the mountain and has supported community events and programs such as Ski and Snowboard Club Vail and World Cup races.

“He’s really been instrumental in raising the level of services and quality of snowmaking so that Vail is recognized around the world as a quality resort,” Daly said. “It’s a big change ” there will be big shoes to fill on Vail Mountain.”

McCartney will stay through January to help get the season under way. Because the announcement came at the start of the season, Vail Resorts will wait until the 2008-2009 season is over to find a replacement, Jarnot said.

McCartney thanked the Vail Mountain team, his friends and the community for his time at the mountain.

“I look forward to enjoying skiing the mountain that I love so much as a guest in the near future,” he said. “It’s been a long time with lots of great people “(Vail’s) been a great place to live and work.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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