Vail Resorts brings an ex-Canyons veteran back to run Park City Mountain Resort
Mike Goar, the ski industry executive who once led Canyons Resort, was named the chief operating officer of Park City Mountain Resort, PCMR owner Vail Resorts said, a move that returns a figure who helped guide the local industry through a period of tumult to Park City.
Goar will assume the post prior to the ski season. He is currently the chief operating officer of another Vail Resorts property, Heavenly Mountain Resort in the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada. Goar will succeed Bill Rock, who has been the chief operating officer of PCMR since 2015. Goar was the leader of Canyons Resort from 2007 until 2015.
Vail Resorts said Rock will shift to a post overseeing the firm’s mountain resorts located in Colorado and Utah. He will be based at the Vail Resorts headquarters in Broomfield, Colorado. Rock helmed PCMR as Vail Resorts linked the resort and Canyons Resort to create the largest mountain resort in the U.S., a role that required relations with both City Hall and the County Courthouse alongside a nimble approach with businesses and rank-and-file Parkites as two properties were molded into one.
The return of Goar to Park City is especially notable after he once served as the managing director of Canyons Resort prior to the arrival of Vail Resorts. Goar was then the leader of Canyons Resort as Vail Resorts reached a long-term lease and operations deal with the owner of the resort, under the Talisker corporate umbrella. He also held the post during a highly charged lawsuit that led to the sale of PCMR to Vail Resorts. The sale allowed PCMR and Canyons Resort to be turned into a single property linked by a gondola.
Goar, meanwhile, earlier was a key figure in the discussions about connecting Canyons Resort and Solitude Mountain Resort with a gondola that was to be known as SkiLink. Goar sometimes represented the ski industry’s interest in the connection against backlash from environmentalists and others, including during a packed forum in Park City in 2013 that put him on the defensive most of the evening. The resorts ultimately did not pursue SkiLink.
Goar will assume the top staff position at PCMR at an intriguing time for the resort and the wider community. Vail Resorts’ ownership of PCMR has brought larger crowds to the community as they take advantage of the Epic Pass range of season-pass products that provide skiing and snowboarding privileges across the Vail Resorts portfolio. The increase, though, has led to complaints in the community about traffic, parking and crowded slopes.
He will also arrive as Vail Resorts prepares to sell the PCMR parking lots to a Provo firm that envisions a large development. There are significant development rights attached to the parking lots dating from a 1990s City Hall approval. Although the Provo firm, called PEG Companies, would be the developer, Goar, as the chief operating officer of PCMR, would be expected to play a key role since the project would be tied to the resort.
Goar also once led Keystone, another Vail Resorts property, as the chief operating officer, between 2015 and 2017.
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