Vail Resorts pursues global growth – Vail Daily


EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado — Vail Resorts is changing its management around for what company CEO Rob Katz said will best position the company to achieve its long-term strategic vision.

Katz said an email to company employees last week announcing that John Garnsey will become president-international as of April 15. The restructuring also means Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer Chris Jarnot “will take on oversight over Beaver Creek and Doug Lovell, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek, will report to Chris.”

Blaise Carrig, currently a co-president along with Garnsey, will take on the oversight of North American mountain resort operations, according to Katz’s email. And in Summit County, Pat Campbell, the chief operating officer of Breckenridge, will continue to report to Carrig and will also take on oversight of Keystone, while Keystone General Manager John Buhler will now report to Campbell.

Beth Howard, the vice president of mountain dining, will now report to Carrig, and Tim Beck, vice president of mountain planning, will continue to report to Garnsey.

“To think big, we need a team with incredible strength, experience and leadership and we are very fortunate to have leaders who can deliver that and more,” wrote Katz. “For the vast majority of you, these changes should be business as usual. But for all of us, down the road, we will undoubtedly look back on these changes as the building blocks to achieving something very special.”

Will Marks, managing director at JMP Securities and a Vail Resorts analyst, said the company told analysts last year that it was looking at potential expansion in Europe and Asia, and potentially South America.

“This news kind of further highlights that they are serious about expanding outside of the U.S.,” Marks said.

Garnsey said he has already been focusing a lot of his efforts on the international side of the business for about the last year and a half.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity for me to do this,” Garnsey said. “One of the strategies that our company is focusing on is growing the company, and growing it not only domestically, but also globally. One of my roles will be to continue, as I’ve been doing for the last two years, exploring those opportunities.”

Garnsey said part of the role is to understand more about the international ski industry and what opportunities may exist. He said a potential goal, while reiterating that nothing has been defined yet, could be international acquisitions.

“How long that takes, we have no idea,” Garnsey said. “We’re out there trying to listen and learn and understand the landscape.”

Vail Resorts spokeswoman Kelly Ladyga said of the shift that all senior leaders are stepping up to share responsibility for the Mountain Division now that Carrig is taking on leadership at all the North American resorts. She said, via email to the Vail Daily, that Jarnot’s new role is well suited because he has an “intimate knowledge of Beaver Creek, having been VP of marketing for both Vail and Beaver Creek in the past and VP of marketing for the company from 2003-2008, and is very familiar with all of the issues facing Eagle County.”

Lovell, Ladyga said, will continue overseeing Beaver Creek as he does now, with Jarnot becoming Lovell’s “more frequent contact to ensure alignment with all of our company and county-wide objectives, with (Carrig) continuing to provide broad strategic direction for both resorts.”

“And, importantly, John (Garnsey) will remain fully engaged in community efforts in Eagle County and still resides there,” Ladyga wrote.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.

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