Deer Valley gains a new communications manager
It’s bittersweet to take a best friend and mentor’s office after years of working beside her in a cubical, according to newly-appointed Deer Valley Resort Communications Manager Erin Grady.
Wednesday was Grady’s first official day as Deer Valley communications manager, after working for Christa Graff for six years as communications coordinator. Pinned with a new green nametag, denoting her new title at the company, Grady described herself as a bit emotional, but also excited about taking on Graff’s position at the company.
"I have some big shoes to fill," she confesses, noting that once again, Ski Magazine ranked the resort No. 1 in North America for 2005/2006 season. "Deer Valley has grown quite a bit since I began working here We’ve doubled, if not tripled the media relations we handle."
Grady says Graff will still be around, however. Deer Valley has offered Graff’s new company, Graff Communications, contract work, according to Grady, and Graff will continue to live in Park City and plans to spend more time with her baby girl, Camedan.
Grady seems to have been preparing herself for the resort industry and public relations her whole life. She grew up skiing and racing in Park City, graduated with a major in mass communications with an emphasis in public relations from the University of Utah in 1999, and two weeks later, took the job as communications coordinator at Deer Valley.
Once she got the Deer Valley job, she never left, she says, watching the resort gain two new restaurants (Royal Street Caf and Fireside Dining) a new lodge and global exposure through the Olympics.
"Deer Valley is an amazing company to work for. Each season got better and better," she explains.
It’s typical for resort employees to stick around, according to Grady. Amongst her co-workers she’s one of the newest "I’m one of the babies," she says. There are two other employees in her department who have been around less than six years. The fourth newest, she says, has been around for 12.
Grady suspects people stay with Deer Valley because of the camaraderie and because of the company’s clear mission from the start: to put service to the resort’s guests above all else. It’s the reason the resort limits the number of lift tickets sold to 6,500, though Deer Valley is capable of bringing 42,000 skier up the hill in an hour, she notes. The lift ticket limit reflects the number of seats available for lunch on the mountain.
"I love everything about this job I love meeting all the people I get to meet," Grady says. "I have a great rapport with everyone and everyone is treated equally. Every job is important."
According to Grady, the philosophy that every job counts is from the top down. As an example, she says, she’s seen Deer Valley President Bob Wheaton help check skis at the ski corral on busy days.
Besides a new desk, Grady’s responsibilities will change at the company, from local media relations to national and at times, international media relations.
"I’ll get to be a little more hands on with the media now, and become more of the face of Deer Valley," she explains.
Though Grady did not expect to be promoted to the position, she feels up to the challenge and ready for a change.
"I was surprised, but I was definitely prepared I definitely wanted the responsibility" she says of her promotion. "In the future, I will continue to help Deer Valley strive to keep up its excellence. I’m really excited about this opportunity."
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Thanks to COVID-19 cutting into visitation numbers, Park City’s seasonal workforce is sufficient. In any other winter, “the hiring situation would be dire.”