Park City Mountain Resort leader leaving role
Mike Goar took over as vice president and chief operating officer in 2019
Mike Goar, the vice president and chief operating officer of Park City Mountain Resort, is planning to depart later this month.
Goar will be vacating the position to take on a new leadership role within the company as the vice president, chief operating officer and managing director of the Andermatt-Sedrun ski resort in Switzerland, according to Lindsay Hogan, the director of communications for PCMR owner Vail Resorts. The Swiss location is the latest international resort to join Vail Resorts.
“Park City is an incredible mountain and an incredible town, but it is the people who truly make it special. I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to work alongside such passionate, hardworking teammates and community members. While I will deeply miss this place, I am excited to support our company as we expand into Europe – and thrilled to have the opportunity to lead the team at Andermatt-Sedrun,” Goar said in a prepared statement.
Deirdra Walsh, who previously served as the senior director of mountain dining at PCMR, will succeed Goar on May 30. Walsh returns to Utah after three years as the vice president and general manager of the Northstar California Resort in North Lake Tahoe – another property owned by Vail Resorts.
Goar vacates his role after leading operations at PCMR for the past three years, but he spent decades working in the state ski industry.
In 1981, Goar’s career started at Solitude Mountain Resort. He spent 27 years working there before taking over at Canyons Resort around 2008. Goar led Canyons Resort for eight years and served as the vice president and general manager through the merger with PCMR in 2015, according to a Vail Resorts press release.
He left his tenure at the Canyons to continue his work on Vail Resorts’ leadership team as the vice president and chief operating officer at Keystone Resort in Colorado and later at Heavenly Ski Resort near South Lake Tahoe in California.
In 2019, Goar returned to Utah when he was tapped to lead PCMR. As vice president and chief operating officer, he oversaw several capital improvement projects, including new lifts and restaurant upgrades. Goar is also praised for leading the resort through the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and for setting up partnerships that help Vail Resorts achieve its goal of having a net-zero emissions to reduce its operating footprint by 2030.
Goar addressed Park City leaders during a rare appearance at the Marsac Building in February to address the widespread complaints about the 2021-2022 ski season, including long lift lines, traffic heading to and from the mountain and other operations at PCMR.
“I am proud of what we have accomplished here at Park City Mountain and so excited for Deirdra to now take the reins,” Goar said in a statement. “She is one of the most compassionate and inspiring leaders in our industry, and I know the resort and this community will see great things under her leadership.”
Walsh’s career in the ski industry began at PCMR in 2007 as a member of the conference sales team, according to Hogan. She was promoted to director of mountain dining in 2010 and again in 2016 as the senior director.
In her role, Walsh was responsible for overseeing dining establishments on the mountain and helped lead various capital improvement projects at PCMR. Hogan said Walsh was an influential member of the resort’s senior leadership team from 2016 to 2019 and had a significant impact on how PCMR transformed during that time.
Walsh left PCMR in 2019 to take over as the vice president and general manager of Northstar Ski Resort where she oversaw year-round operations and helped lead it through pandemic-related obstacles.
Before she started working in the ski industry, Walsh worked in travel and tourism at the Maritz Travel Company and helped lead hospitality programs for Fortune 500 companies, according to Hogan.
“I am truly overjoyed to have the opportunity to come back to Park City Mountain, a place near and dear to my heart,” Walsh said in a prepared statement. “I know both the opportunities and complexities of this resort well, and I am eager to partner with the community alongside this dedicated team. I am grateful to Mike for the legacy and foundation he has built here, and I’m committed to continuing that great work to make Park City Mountain the world-class destination it is known to be.”
Bill Rock, the executive vice president of Vail Resorts, said in a statement he’s excited to see Goar step into a new leadership role as Vail Resorts expands into Europe, and that Walsh’s experience in California will be welcomed at PCMR.
“Park City Mountain and the Park City community are truly special places, and I know there’s no one better suited to lead the resort forward than Deirdra. She is a star in the ski industry and someone with limitless talent and passion,” he said. “Returning to Park City to lead the resort and the team there is such a natural next step for Deirdra, and I can’t wait to see the impact she’ll have on the future of Park City Mountain.”
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Park City Council members have directed staffers to continue working on a plan to develop affordable housing on a site 1 ½ miles south of City Hall on Marsac Avenue. Staffers are recommending the city release a request for proposals (RFP) to find interested entities to participate in a public-private partnership to build the project.