Yikes! New GM at Mt Bachelor

Geoff

New member
Bend Bulletin":1f69e3j6 said:
Mt. Bachelor names new general manager
By Jeff McDonald
Published: June 10. 2008 12:01PM PST

Mt. Bachelor ski area named an official from Vermont as its new general manager today, less than a month after it fired Matt Janney and three other top officials.

Dave Rathbun, 46, previously worked as director of marketing, sales, reservations and golf at Killington Resort and Pico Mountain in Vermont, according to a news release issued by the ski area. Mt. Bachelor and the two Vermont resorts are all owned by Park City, Utah-based Powdr Corp.

“He's bringing with him a great balance of operations and marketing experience,” said Justin Yax, Mt. Bachelor's spokesman. “One of his jobs will be to help lead the shift in culture at the mountain and his guest services background will play a big role in that.”

In the book "The Peter Principle", there's something called Peter's Paradox. Normally you get promoted until you reach your level of incompetence. In Peter's Paradox, you can continue to get promoted if the person making the promotion decision is also incompetent. Rathbun was a total disaster at Killington. He owned the marketing function. The resort public and community relations are probably the worst of any ski resort in North America. Skier visits are down so much that the resort won't even release the numbers to the town. Killington guest services has been a laughing stock for years. If he were appointed dog catcher, the town would be overun with dogs. If Bend was up in arms over the last team, they're in for a true meltdown this time.

All I can say is good riddance.
 

rfarren

New member
For a couple of years I've pretty much hated Killington. Now I know why! Remember when Killington bought the domain "killingtonsucks.com." What a joke! I had a dream that an earthquake swallowed up that mountain and everyone danced! Ah dreams...
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Isn't this what people call "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?"

Didn't Nyberg at Killington run Bachelor for Powdr Corp for awhile?
 

Patrick

Active member
Geoff":1s7xagfl said:
If he were appointed dog catcher, the town would be overun with dogs. If Bend was up in arms over the last team, they're in for a true meltdown this time.

Ouch!!! :shock:
 

Geoff

New member
Tony Crocker":1jgiokld said:
Isn't this what people call "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?"

Didn't Nyberg at Killington run Bachelor for Powdr Corp for awhile?

No. He worked there ages ago but didn't run it. POWDR bought it in 2001. Nyberg was just going to Bombardier at the time.
 

schubwa

New member
With all your encouraging words, I've decided to move to Mexico!
 

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Admin

Administrator
Staff member
I'm trying to work a story for tomorrow, but I don't know if I'll have anything more than Jeff did at The Bulletin. One of the key players proactively called me yesterday out of the blue and I've been playing phone tag ever since. I now know why I got the phone call.
 

Geoff

New member
I guess you can't blame the guy for packing up and leaving. He came to Killington during the absolute worst of the ASC malaise years. Then POWDR shows up, does a bunch of moves that piss off the town, piss off the business owners, lay-offs of full timers and offering them part time jobs just to avoid paying benefits, and piss off a big slice of the vacation home owners and season pass base. Everybody in town was either personally impacted by the decisions of the last year or knows somebody who suffered some real hardship because of those decisions. I'm sure it can't be pleasant when people are calling you an a-hole to your face in the grocery store.

Maybe POWDR has learned their lesson with open revolts in Bend and Killington. You just can't blindly apply policies that work at Park City to every other ski area in your portfolio. I doubt he will be cut any slack in Bend. Talk won't cut it after the owners have completely lost any credibility. Only results will win people over.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
What is the evidence that Park City has been run the same way? Its clientele is heavily fly-in destination and fairly upscale. So I doubt Powdr cuts corners on lifts, grooming, customer service etc. there.

It's clear that Powdr has viewed Mt. Bachelor as a regional destination with a semi-captive audience. Thus the bare bones expense model to maximize proftiability. The decreased skier visit numbers in a season when other PNW areas were setting records may have caught their attention.

Killington is also a regional drive-up area, but if Powdr thinks its size gives it a similar captive audience, they are sadly mistaken. Similar customer service as at Bachelor will result in a much faster decline in numbers to competitor ski areas. Of course, some of that decline was happening already under ASC. And Killington is likely more profitable (at the moment) under Powdr than ASC due to getting rid of the cheap loss-leader programs.
 

riverc0il

New member
Tony Crocker":qxjccovb said:
Killington is also a regional drive-up area, but if Powdr thinks its size gives it a similar captive audience, they are sadly mistaken.
As everyone can notice from the glowing reviews of other drive-up area competitors of Killington's such as Mount Snow and Sunday River, great customer service and a good product are more than enough to sway people to slightly smaller areas. Sugarbush seems to also have made a push to capture Killington's dissatisfied customers but is in a different tier price wise. Vermont has a lot of great mountains and I am glad to see that service and product are more valuable than reputation. Though the big K doesn't even have its reputation to pull out of the bank at this point. Who ever is rocking their PR department this year has a big up hill battle ahead of them.
 

Geoff

New member
riverc0il":30tplfv5 said:
Vermont has a lot of great mountains and I am glad to see that service and product are more valuable than reputation.

The sad thing is that service and midwinter product actually did improve from the 'bad' ASC years. ASC chased away the premium full-boat day ticket people. They're not spending money on marketing and their huge unpaid marketing & sales force (the season pass base and the ski clubs) is completely torqued at them for a pretty long list of reasons.

As long as they continue to blow snow and run the lifts, my only gripe is the shortened season. When you take away 35% or 40% of the skier visits, Killington is a pretty nice place to ski.
 

Patrick

Active member
Geoff":32xar42r said:
As long as they continue to blow snow and run the lifts, my only gripe is the shortened season. When you take away 35% or 40% of the skier visits, Killington is a pretty nice place to ski.

Always liked the terrain, it was the land of the multi-crossover and the feeling of skiing on the freeway on the busier days that drove me nuts!!! Once they started pricing themselves much more than other late season ski options and not ending much later marked the time where I mostly stopped going. Exchange rate at 50% didn't help either.
 

EMSC

Active member
Interesting piece...

You mean Scary piece...

I can vouch that the referenced Colo tramway board is quite independent will shut lifts as necessary. Back in 1999 or 2000 they shut all the upper mtn lifts at Eldo for improper paperwork, maint signatures missing, etc... I believe Eldo was down to the beginner hill for something like 3 days while the other lifts were fully re-inspected (Jan or Feb time frame as I recall).
 

schubwa

New member
james deluxe":va6wvpdx said:
Anyone read this?
LINK

I'm thinking all this negative publicity will make for some long-lasting pow lines next winter. It was noticibly less crowded than in the past already this last season.

But I doubt I'll use terms like: "To die for..." when describing conditions.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
After reading Icelantic's thread about SR/Boyne, I laughed when I read this part of the interview:

What’s new at Sunday River these days?
Plenty. The Chondola is being installed as I type and the mountain bike park is back in business. The Resort is coming off a great year and has more to come in front of it.

Anything more to say about that?
Nope.

Why not?
Sorry man, but I’m headed west.
:lol:
 
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