PCMR’s new chief, ‘absolutely thrilled,’ appears at City Hall | ParkRecord.com

PCMR’s new chief, ‘absolutely thrilled,’ appears at City Hall

The newly installed leader of Park City Mountain Resort appeared at City Hall on Thursday evening, telling Mayor Jack Thomas and the Park City Council he is pleased to have arrived in the community.

It was the first meeting between Bill Rock, the chief operating officer of PCMR, and the full slate of Park City’s elected officials. Rock was at City Hall to introduce himself. The City Council did not have official business regarding PCMR on the agenda.

Rock said he is "absolutely thrilled" to be leading PCMR. His family is excited to have moved to Park City, he said. He arrived at PCMR on Nov. 1.

Rock told the elected officials he has worked in the ski industry for 19 years. He most recently was the top staffer at Northstar California Resort in the Lake Tahoe region. Northstar California Resort is a Vail Resorts property. The Colorado firm recently acquired PCMR and operates Canyons Resort for the Talisker corporate family.

Vail Resorts plans to connect PCMR and Canyons Resort as early as 2015, creating the largest mountain resort in the U.S. Rock is expected to be the top staffer at the combined resort and a key figure as the two resorts are linked into one.

In his remarks to the elected officials, Rock said he was active in Lake Tahoe-area philanthropy, including service on a hospital board. He said he intends to have a similar philanthropic role in Park City.

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The elected officials did not have any immediate questions for him.

In an interview afterward, Rock said Park City, as a community, has been "exceptionally welcoming" He said Parkites are "very proud, rightly, of their community."

"They’ve created something special over the years," Rock said about PCMR.

He said his priority is preparing for the upcoming ski season. Vail Resorts acquired PCMR in September, ending a high-profile lawsuit, two months before the start of the ski season. PCMR is schedule to open Nov. 22.

Rock also said planning is underway to link PCMR and Canyons Resort. He said Vail Resorts intends to connect the two resorts before the 2015-2016 ski season, meaning the construction would occur next summer or early in the fall.

Rock said he has recently become more involved in the discussions about the connection. He declined to provide details.

"There’s no specifics to share at this time," he said, adding, "Our company’s working diligently in the planning process."

Rock declined to provide information about the type of connection that is under consideration. Vail Resorts has released few details about the link. Rob Katz, the chief executive officer, in September told Wall Street analysts the link will likely be accomplished with a chairlift. The firm has not publicly discussed possible alignments.

Many Parkites and the state ski industry are eagerly awaiting the details of a connection. The link will create the largest mountain resort in the United States, something that is expected to increase Park City’s competitiveness in the industry.

Mike Goar, the general manager of Canyons Resort, attended the meeting to introduce Rock to the elected officials, saying the new PCMR chief operating officer is prepared for the post.

Rock appeared at City Hall less than two months after another high-profile meeting between the elected officials and Vail Resorts. Blaise Carrig, the president of the firm’s mountain division, spoke to the mayor and City Council in September. He provided an overview of Vail Resorts. The elected officials did not ask Carrig questions.

A government task force consisting of City Hall and County Courthouse officials, meanwhile, recently started meeting. The task force, which meets privately, will address a range of issues related to a combined resort, including planning-related topics, taxes and transportation. Vail Resorts at a recent task force meeting provided a verbal description of an idea for the PCMR-Canyons Resort link.