Local groups join forces to create Park City Ski & Snowboard Club
Jesse Hunt will be Executive Director for new organization
Five ski and snowboard youth programs based in Park City announced on Monday afternoon the intent to become “one, all-encompassing organization to better serve Park City’s aspiring athletes,” per a press release. The new organization will be called the Park City Ski & Snowboard Club.
Included in this newly-formed organization are the programs formerly known as the Park City Ski Team, Summit Ski Team, Team Park City United and the Nordic and Fly Freestyle divisions of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation. All Park City teams were invited to join the new club.
“In looking at the potential benefits of uniting our talented Park City athletes and families into one ski and snowboard organization, we feel this is a major opportunity to provide world-class personnel and top-notch training resources to better serve our youth,” the Integration Team said in the release.
Selected as the new program’s executive director is Jesse Hunt, who has led the Park City Ski Team since 2009. He will oversee four divisions; Alpine, Freestyle, Nordic and Snowboard. The Park City Ski & Snowboard Club will exist under the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, but function as a separate LLC.
“It’s a nonprofit,” Colin Hilton, President and CEO of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, said in a roundtable discussion with the Integration Team on Monday afternoon. “The LLC is under our nonprofit. … It provides an efficiency that focuses the effort for coaches on coaching and for us to handle the HR, books, those kind of things, which we do already for different entities.”
Under Hunt will be a Park City Ski & Snowboard Club governance board, which will include members from the Park City Ski Team, Summit Ski Team, Team Park City United, Park City Nordic, Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, Youth Sports Alliance, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley Resort. Overall, there will be 13 seats on the governance board.
“That structure will take advantage of being able to use our administrative services, yet set up a local board that is a governance board and is already identified,” Hilton said.
The creation of the Park City Ski & Snowboard Club has been a long time coming. Many members of the integration team have been in contact for the last few years, throwing the idea around, but never actually making it come to fruition.
But after continued dialogue, which picked up last October, all parties agreed on the fine details. When Hunt made the announcement to staff members in the separate organizations, now all part of one team, he said the elation was palpable.
“It was pretty fun to get everyone in the room and feel the energy and excitement of that group,” Hunt said.
Hunt added that everyone in the room also has an understanding of the vision the new club is aiming for.
“I had a feeling that everybody in the room knew what was going on,” he continued.
The idea of forming one consolidated group is to eliminate competition among local groups, and instead, work together.
“Each club had a niche of what it did very well,” Marc Norman, Vice President of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, said. “That’s why there were four or five clubs. Bringing them all together allows us to take the best of each. To me, that’s a big gain. We can take what the Park City Ski Team did really well and blend it with what the Summit Ski Team did really well. We should have a much better product at the end of the day.”
Hilton shared a similar sentiment.
“Some of the biggest issues are redundancy of having five executive directors, five bookkeepers, five websites,” Hilton continued. “There’s a lot of redundant administrative services.”
By working together, the new club feels winter sports in the area will be enhanced, especially for the younger kids.
At a young age, many are curious about different sports, dipping their toes in the waters of each respective sport. In the past, this would have been difficult, as the area boasts a number of winter sports clubs that require different fees, uniforms and time commitments.
By joining forces, Hunt and company hope to eliminate the issue.
“It’s a little more applicable to [younger-aged kids] because at that point, it is sampling,” Hunt said. They’re not moving up the scope in their skill development. They’re just trying to figure out where they fit, what they like to do. That’s really where the multi-sport sampling is important and where we see it fitting in the scheme of things.”
In the new program, kids will be able to cross over. One could go from Alpine to Nordic to Snowboarding without issue. With all of the coaches working under the same umbrella, the transition to another discipline, the integration team believes, would be much easier.
“All these kids in town know each other,” Pat Quigley of Team Park City United said. “They all go to the same school. So now, they can try different disciplines and still be on the same team and still be hanging out with the same kids. They won’t have to quit to join a new program, go to a different building, get a different uniform, hang out with other kids that they may or may not know.”
According to the new club’s press release sent out on Monday afternoon, the local resorts and programs are in support of the collaboration.
“Park City Mountain supports the one club concept being considered by the various teams within Park City,” said Bill Rock, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Vail Resorts. “The efficiency of scheduling and coordinating training while providing exceptional experiences for the youth in our community will be big advantages. We are committed to providing ‘official club status’ to the new effort which would mean priority scheduling and we would require visiting clubs to coordinate their training through the new club.”
Bob Wheaton, Deer Valley Resort General Manager, shared the same sentiment as Rock.
“The Deer Valley team fully supports the forward-thinking collaboration,” Wheaton said. “As always, we are proud to play an integral role in the futures of Park City’s youth and provide a world-class platform for them to consistently perform at their best.”
Aimee Preston, Youth Sports Alliance’s executive director, believes the new collaboration will aid in the Alliance’s effort to provide youth scholarships.
“Each year the Youth Sports Alliance looks forward to providing need-based scholarships for local youth to participate in sports and after school activities,” Preston said. “We embrace this collaborative initiative because it will provide more access for local youth to pursue active and healthy lifestyles, in addition to, providing a strong sports club program for kids to follow their dreams.”
An Open House will be held at Utah Olympic Park on June 21 at 7 p.m. to relay more information for those who may have questions or concerns.