At Deer Valley Resort, the Flurries Are Year-Round
Long before the first snowflake drops on the mountaintops, Deer Valley Resort employees are busy behind the curtain, working their magic to deliver the Deer Valley Difference — something the resort has been lauded for year after year. From electrical updates to job fairs, here’s a look at the flurry of activity that happens before the swarms come for the snow.
“We spend eight months working on our lifts so the four months of winter season are as smooth as possible,” notes Deer Valley’s lift maintenance manager, Jeffrey Miller.
“Our goal is no downtime for skiers.”
That means summer at the resort looks a bit like a mechanic’s garage — a very busy mechanic. To ensure the safe operation of lifts, tows and conveyors, Jeffrey and his team work with state and federal inspectors, perform manufacturer maintenance updates and repair the big stuff that requires a lift to be down for several weeks.
“Sometimes, we have an electrical or mechanical issue that surfaces in the winter that’s going to require significant work. We won’t take a lift out of operation unless there’s a safety concern, or the lift simply isn’t able to spin. Generally, we work on solving these issues until the task is complete. This can require long hours and a significant team effort to complete. We strive to do our heaviest maintenance jobs during the summer maintenance season and put out fires during the winter operating season.”
Ski School Scheduling
For Christine Katzenberger, summers are equally as busy. She is the hiring manager for Deer Valley’s ski school and says she starts recruiting in June. She needs to have confirmations by July, since that’s when guests start booking their winter vacations and oftentimes, they request a specific instructor.
“Many of our clients develop a relationship with an instructor and will plan their ski vacation around their favorite instructor’s availability,” she said.
Meeting these requests is a combination of mad scheduling skills, complex algorithms and a bit of luck. Since Christine also manages the resort’s adult programs, she spends the fall training her programs’ staff and managing the instructors that trickle in until the season begins.
Christine gets a bit of help from her coworker, Lisa Angotti, the resort’s recruiting manager. She’s the person responsible for driving candidates to apply for any position at Deer Valley, and recruits both nationally and internationally.
“We start working on winter recruiting nearly a year early! In March, we prepare for job fairs held all over the country in the summers. From there, we’re developing media strategies, sorting out travel logistics to get our hiring managers to the job fairs that will help them find the best candidates, following up with applicants and trying to get all positions filled with the right people, right up until the resort opens.”
If there’s any downtime, Lisa says it’s spent pouring over the past season’s data to help her make the best decisions for hiring.
“Every year I get a massive puzzle and need to figure out how all the pieces come together. It’s challenging, but so rewarding when you see it all connect.”
With all this planning and preparing, it’s little wonder Deer Valley always seems so perfectly groomed.