Where does Jensen fit in corporate world? | VailDaily.com

Where does Jensen fit in corporate world?

Allen Best
Vail, CO Colorado

VANCOUVER, B.C. ” Earlier this month Bill Jensen, the top boss for the four ski areas operated by Vail Resorts in Colorado, jumped ship, joining Fortress, where he will be chief executive for the Intrawest division.

That he was first of all a top ski mountain manager was never disputed. He began his ski career as a lift operator at Mammoth Mountain, and had a sterling reputation in California and New England even before he joined the Vail Resorts empire in the late 1990s. In Vail, there was a sense of loss.

But what does this mean for Intrawest? Michel Beaudry, writing in Whistler’s Pique, talked with Dave Brownlie, who is Intrawest’s resort chief at the Whistler and Blackcomb ski areas.

“It only confirms for me that the mountain resort business is back in the forefront where it belongs,” he said. “At least I don’t have to worry that we’re going to be transformed into a high-end spa or anything like that.”

There’s another theory, with a longer vision. This thinking is that Fortress, having taken Intrawest private, will operate it that way for a few years before then taking it public once again, making profit in that process.

Roger McCarthy, formerly at both Breckenridge and Whistler, laid it out this way: “They needed a front man for this process, and he needed to be new, and he needed to be from a publicly traded company, and Bill was there from Vail.

“Now Vail is a name that the whole of Wall Street knows. And that’s crucial for getting the money people to pay attention.”

KETCHUM, Idaho ” Authorities in Blaine County are expected to be paying workers’ compensation for ski patrollers from Sun Valley who help rescue skiers who have headed from the ski area into the backcountry.

Ski patrol personnel weren’t previously covered by the Sun Valley Co. policy for beyond-the-rope work.

But ski area officials emphasized that it does not mean that the ski patrol will take on responsibility for skiers and snowboarders who use the ski area lifts to gain access to the backcountry.

“With the introduction of fat skis and easily accessible run-out trails, more and more people are heading out there, which means there will be more injuries,” said Mike Lloyd, director of the Sun Valley Ski Patrol.

Avalanche danger is of concern. “As always, it’s important to ski one at a time and make sure everyone is equipped with shovels and beacons, in case someone gets buried.” Probe poles are also advised.

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