Crystal Mountain has named Karyn Thorr chief operating officer effective today. Thorr has been an employee for 29 years and has since managed many different departments at Crystal, but it was her passion for snowsports that landed her at the family-owned resort in 1993.
“I learned to ski at Crystal with my family when I was 10-years-old, and went on to ski competitively in high school and college,” Thorr said. “Working here and being part of the resort’s transformation over the past few decades has been incredible, and my new role on the leadership team is exciting and an honor.”
In 2005, Thorr joined Crystal Mountain Realty, and has served as the managing broker since 2014. She has placed hundreds of families in their dream resort homes, helping to grow and enhance the Crystal community. Prior to that, she led several operating departments including marketing, conference services and skier services. More recently, as managing broker, she played a critical role in the successful development of the Inn Phase II, a 12 million dollar project completed in 2017.
Thorr succeeds John Melcher, who served as COO prior to being named CEO last December.
“Karyn is an outstanding leader with a track record of success at Crystal for nearly three decades,” said Melcher. “This transition is a great example of our philosophy to promote from within. Her experience, enthusiasm and commitment to our company exemplifies the magic in our business – fun!”
As COO, Thorr will oversee on-mountain operations including lifts, grooming, maintenance, resort safety and snowsports. She will also continue to serve as the principal broker for Crystal Mountain Realty.
“Jim and I have had the joy of seeing Karyn mature as a leader over the last two decades, wearing many hats and excelling in every role she has undertaken,” said Chris MacInnes, President of Crystal Mountain. “We are thrilled she is moving on to this next chapter in her career, and know that it’s a great fit. Her passion for snowsports, powerful vision of a healthy, thriving community and commitment to family, friends and co-workers make her the right person for this position.”
Thorr achieved her PSIA Level III Certification, and in 2000, she received one of the industry’s most coveted recognitions, the Sammy Award (Future Leadership Award) awarded by Ski Area Management (SAM). She’s also the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the CMU Recreation Parks and Leisure Services Administration, and is a board member of Cherryland Electric’s ‘Cherryland Cares.’
Thorr earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts in commercial recreation and hospitality from Central Michigan University, where she was a member of the ski team. Before returning to northern Michigan, she was employed at Wintergreen Resort in Virginia.
She and her husband Tom raised two daughters in Thompsonville, and share a deep appreciation for spending time outdoors.