Vail Resorts has announced a number of Mountain Operations leadership appointments across its resorts.
- Mike Goar, currently Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Park City Mountain Resort, will lead Andermatt-Sedrun, our first resort in Europe, as VP, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, reporting to Pat Campbell, Mountain Operations Senior Advisor. Mike’s new role will be effective upon deal close; until then, he will work closely with the team supporting preparation and planning for the transaction closing. Mike joined Vail Resorts as part of the Canyons integration, growing his leadership scope and impact in a series of COO roles, including Keystone, Heavenly and the Tahoe Region, and most recently Park City, where he oversaw capital improvements for new lifts and restaurant upgrades and led the resort through the uncertainties and challenges of the global pandemic. With over 40 years of ski industry experience, I can think of no better choice than Mike for this important role.
- Succeeding Mike, Deirdra Walsh, currently Vice President and General Manager of Northstar, is promoted to Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Park City Mountain Resort, effective May 30, reporting to Bill Rock, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Rocky Mountain Region. Mike will be supporting Dierdra in her transition as he prepares for his new role. Deirdra’s roots are based in Park City, where she began her ski industry career in 2007 as a member of the conference sales team. She was promoted to Director of Mountain Dining in 2010, and grew to Senior Director of Mountain Dining in 2016. In this role she was responsible for overseeing more than a dozen mountain dining outlets and led several major capital improvement projects at the resort before being named General Manager for Northstar. I am excited that her leadership journey is leading her back to Park City.
- Tom Fortune, currently Vice President and General Manager of Heavenly, is promoted to Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Heavenly Mountain Resort & Tahoe Region, effective immediately, reporting to Doug Pierini, Senior Vice President, West Region. In this role Tom will have leadership and reporting accountability for Heavenly, Kirkwood and Northstar. Tom has deep roots in the Tahoe region having moved there in 2010 eventually serving as General Manager of both Kirkwood and then Heavenly. He will now oversee all three Tahoe resorts from a strategic growth and operational success standpoint. His track record of success, combined with his passion for the Tahoe region, makes him the perfect candidate for this role. He will continue to lead Heavenly directly and will provide additional leadership for Northstar and Kirkwood.
- Ellen Gailbraith, currently Senior Director, Chief of Staff Mountain Operations, is promoted to Vice President and General Manager for Stevens Pass, effective May 30, reporting to Doug Pierini. Tom Fortune will stay involved with Stevens Pass as a long-term advisor. Ellen joined Vail Resorts in 2003 as a member of the Beaver Creek Race Crew, ultimately growing to the Director of Mountain Operations at the resort, where she stayed until 2019. After 16 years at Beaver Creek, Ellen went west to Northstar as Senior Director of Mountain Operations. After two seasons of managing operations at the resort, she jumped at the opportunity to support broader business growth while representing the in-resort perspective, accepting the role of Chief of Staff for the Mountain Division. Ellen has deep roots in Washington, and fond memories of skiing Stevens during her college years at the University of Washington. With her love of the area and broad operations experience she is perfectly positioned to take on this role.
According to a press release, ‘Vail Resorts is focused on building a culture of leadership development and succession planning—making career advancements possible while ensuring its resorts continue to thrive’.