Rusty Gregory, CEO of Deer Valley owner, slated to deliver Park City remarks
Rusty Gregory, the CEO of Deer Valley Resort owner Alterra Mountain Company, is scheduled to deliver keynote remarks during an appearance in Park City in mid-March, a rare chance for a Park City audience to hear from one of the pivotal figures in the ski industry.
Alterra Mountain Company acquired Deer Valley as part of a realignment of the ski industry in recent years and has emerged as the key competitor to Park City Mountain Resort owner Vail Resorts. The two firms are vying against each other in an industry that is attempting to retain appeal amid concerns about climate change and affordability, jockeying for business with multi-resort season-pass products and changing lineups of resorts.
Leadership Park City, an organization that prepares people to take on greater roles within the community, is presenting Gregory as the speaker for the annual community leadership lecture. Myles Rademan, the founder of Leadership Park City, noted in an interview the importance of Alterra Mountain Company.
“Between Vail and Alterra, they own most of the ski industry now,” Rademan said.
Gregory is expected to deliver remarks followed by questions from Rademan. Audience questions will be accepted via email or on cards. Rademan said he intends to ask Gregory about topics like the corporate culture of the ski industry and the impact of the multi-resort season-pass products in the industry. He said Gregory rose through the ranks in the ski industry, prior to the recent corporatization, affording him perspective on the changes.
“He came up under the old regime,” Rademan said about Gregory’s career in the ski industry.
Rademan said Gregory could be asked about the differences in the business models between Alterra Mountain Company and Vail Resorts and the sort of relationship between the two firms. Rademan said Park City, with resorts owned by each of the firms, provides a case study for the industry.
“We’re sort of ground zero for that,” he said about the competition and cooperation between Alterra Mountain Company and Vail Resorts.
Vail Resorts acquired PCMR in 2014, ending a lawsuit centered on the former owner’s lease of the acreage underlying most of the terrain. Alterra Mountain Company followed with the Deer Valley acquisition in 2017. There has been a mood of uneasiness in Park City since the two acquisitions as Parkites adjust to the change in ownership. Many see Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Company as having brought a corporate culture to a place with a long streak of independence. They also are concerned about traffic increases in recent years as well as the stress put on public services, even as many have benefited from the increased tourism numbers.
The Gregory appearance will follow a year after Rob Katz, the chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts, was tapped to deliver the same leadership lecture. Katz drew a large audience as he addressed issues like workforce housing, wages, climate change and diversity in the ski industry.
The community leadership lecture featuring Gregory is scheduled March 16 from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. in the Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library. It is free and open to the public.
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It was an important decision since the rest of the talks will be heavily influenced by the processing option selected by the Planning Commission on Wednesday.