May 24, 2019

Vermont resort head plans move to Colorado

DOVER, Vt. — The director of Mount Snow ski resort will move to Colorado Monday to take over the top position at a ski resort that has been plagued by bad weather and a drop in ticket sales.

Christopher Diamond, 52, will become managing director of Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., one of the nine ski areas owned by the Maine-based American Skiing Co.

“I’ve had a great time at Mount Snow. This will always be kind of home for me,” Diamond said. “But I’m looking forward to the Steamboat challenge.”

Diamond will be succeeded at Mount Snow by F. Scott Pierpont, formerly the vice president of operations.

Steamboat’s managing director, Gary Mielke, resigned a week ago, after the company disclosed that Steamboat’s skier days, excluding season pass sales, had declined 16 percent this year. Low snowfall in the West during the early part of the season kept many visitors away, officials said.

This week, Steamboat announced that it would offer buyouts to several hundred middle management employees with the goal of reducing its management staff by about 15 workers, either through the voluntary buyouts or layoffs.

In Vermont, poor weather through the Christmas season hurt many resorts, including the three owned by AS. About a dozen employees were laid off at Sugarbush ski area in Warren this week as the company shelved plans for a large-scale hotel project.

The job reductions at Steamboat and Sugarbush were necessary as the company experienced a drop in revenues, AS chief executive Les Otten told the Rutland Herald.

“We think those are genuinely intelligent decisions to make on a going-forward basis,” he said.

AS, which owns Mount Snow-Haystack, Killington and Sugarbush in Vermont, recently reported that revenues for the second quarter will be significantly below projections.

The company also owns Steamboat, the Canyons ski area in Utah and Heavenly in California.

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