For Deer Valley Resort, an era is coming to a close
May 29, 2015
Julie Wilson knows she will miss it.
She has spent more than three decades as food and beverage director at Deer Valley Resort, playing a crucial role in establishing its reputation as a first-class destination. In that time she has made countless friends and forged bonds that will last for many more years.
So, yes, saying goodbye will be difficult. Deer Valley recently announced Wilson will be retiring from her current role and and stepping into a consultant position.
"It’s going to be hard," she said. "But that’s alright."
Wilson first came to the resort in 1981, when she began as manager for the Silver Lake Lodge. In the ensuing 34 years, Deer Valley became like home. She wouldn’t have wanted to spend her career anywhere else.
"It’s been wonderful," she said. "It sounds so corny but Deer Valley is a family. We’ve all worked together — really there are a lot of us in food and beverage who have worked together for over 30 years and are still here."
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The culinary success in which Wilson has been instrumental has not come easy, however. The days can be long and grueling and the high expectations are constant. Throughout her career, Wilson has spent much of her time thinking about and preparing for what’s next.
"I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s pressure as much as it’s just a challenge," Wilson said. "We’re always thinking of what we can do, what’s happening out there and trying to come up with new ideas."
But no matter how difficult it got, Wilson always knew she could rely on those around her. She said it is the talent of her coworkers that allows her to feel comfortable about stepping down. Jodie Rogers, who most recently served as executive chef for Snow Park Lodge and Empire Canyon Lodge, will take over as food and beverage director.
"I just think it’s time for me to move over and give some of that talent some opportunities," she said. "They’ll be fine here. All of the oldies are still here and doing a wonderful job. All their ideas have continued to stay fresh."
Wilson’s career at Deer Valley was the result of chasing her dreams. She originally went to the University of Vermont to become a special education teacher, but realized food is what she really loved. She dropped out of college to go to culinary school in Paris.
"I thought I needed to follow my passion," she said.
Her retirement, however, will be less focused on food. Over the last three decades, she hasn’t always had time to stop and appreciate the little things. But no longer will she miss out on those parts of life.
"I’ll be fishing a little more and hiking a little more and spending more time with the dogs and family and husband," she said. "I’m very much looking forward to it."
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