Broomfield, CO…Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) (“Vail Resorts”) today announced several changes to take place before the end of the calendar year across its mountain division leadership team to position the Company for continued growth and success. Specifically, with the official close of the Whistler Blackcomb acquisition earlier this week, the company is scaling the organization with a leadership structure that aligns to recent and future expansion and creates new opportunities for several experienced leaders at the Company.
Chris Jarnot, 49, joined Vail Resorts in 1985 and has been the Vail Mountain chief operating officer since 2008. In his new role as mountain division executive vice president, Jarnot will bring his extensive resort experience to oversee the Company’s four Colorado resorts: Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, and Keystone, as well as provide continued oversight of the operations of Perisher in Australia, Afton Alps in Minnesota, Mt. Brighton in Michigan, and the Company’s most recent urban ski area acquisition, Wilmot Mountain in Wisconsin. Jarnot is a member of the Company’s executive committee, which will continue as part of this leadership and organizational change. Jarnot will continue to report to mountain division president Patricia Campbell and office at the Company’s headquarters in Broomfield.
“During Chris’ 31-year tenure with Vail Resorts, he has exemplified the superior business leadership and has earned the trust of our employees and confidence from the community while continuing to drive an exceptional guest experience that Vail is known for around the world,” said Campbell. “I fully expect Chris to continue to elevate the operations and guest and employee experience across all of the resorts that are now included in his responsibilities.”
Prior to 2008, Jarnot was responsible for marketing and sales across Vail Resorts’ mountain resorts as well as its hotel and property management businesses, including the RockResorts hotel brand. Raised in the Vail Valley, he has held numerous positions with the Company since 1985, starting out in guest services at Beaver Creek and later as director of advertising and direct marketing, director of reservations and vice president of marketing for Vail and Beaver Creek.
Succeeding Jarnot at Vail will be Doug Lovell, 58, the current chief operating officer at Beaver Creek. An industry veteran and respected leader at the Company, Lovell joined Vail Resorts in 1994 and has significant experience in mountain operations at Beaver Creek and Keystone. He was at the helm of Keystone before returning to Beaver Creek in 2010 as the resort’s chief operating officer, where he has continued to deliver the highest levels of guest service for which the resort is known.
Simultaneous to Lovell’s move to Vail, the Company announced that Beth Howard, 53, the current Northstar general manager and a 30-year veteran of Beaver Creek and Vail Resorts, will become the next Beaver Creek chief operating officer. Howard began her career with Vail Resorts in 1985 as a college intern at Beaver Creek and, for nearly three decades, she increased her leadership and operational oversight of mountain dining across all of the Company’s resorts, including more than 100 restaurants and eight private mountain and golf clubs. She was promoted to lead Northstar in 2014 and is returning to Beaver Creek after two successful years leading the guest and employee experience at the Lake Tahoe resort. The Company will immediately begin a search for Howard’s replacement at Northstar.
“I’m thrilled for Chris, Doug and Beth and that the Company can provide these growth opportunities for such exceptional leaders,” said Campbell. “They each bring a long track record of operations and guest service excellence to their new positions and I’m confident that they will drive the continued success of our Colorado resorts, and beyond.”
“These leadership changes across our mountain division speak to the expertise and commitment that Chris, Doug and Beth each possess,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer. “Their collective nearly 100 years of experience at Vail Resorts says something about the opportunities they have sought during their tenure with the Company as well as their personal and professional passion to not only be a part of, but to leave a lasting legacy upon, this industry.”