Merger of Park City ski and snowboard clubs appears uncomplicated as it nears completion | ParkRecord.com

Merger of Park City ski and snowboard clubs appears uncomplicated as it nears completion

Executive Director anticipates

Stefan Brennwald of the Park City Ski Team skis around the gate during the David Wright Memorial Giant Slalom Race Sunday morning, Jan. 8, 2017. The race, a three day event, was held on Park City Mountain’s black diamond C.B.’s Run. (Tanzi Propst/Park Record)

It's been four months since the merger of five Park City ski and snowboard clubs was announced.

With many of the teams in dry land training and gearing up for winter, executive director Jesse Hunt said the integration process is going well.

"We're in good shape," Hunt said Thursday. "We're starting to bring on staff, we hit our mark there in terms of being organized."

The new organization had a goal for integration by Oct. 1, which combined Park City Ski Team, Summit Ski Team, Team Park City United and the Nordic and Fly Freestyle divisions of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation into the new Park City Ski and Snowboard Club.

While each club still is, for now, using their original names, Hunt said the businesses have been integrated under the new club, which functions as an LLC under the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation.

Other than this business integration, Hunt said the Park City Ski and Snowboard Club has been working to bring staff up to a club-wide standard of certification.

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The clubs that the Park City Ski and Snowboard Club is built on required varying levels of certification for coaches. Now, Hunt says all those coaches will have the same baseline training, like Safe Sport – a program put out by the USOC that teaches coaches how to provide a safe environment for athletes – and state-required concussion certifications, plus first aid and CPR. By keeping the same staff, Hunt said it makes for a smooth transition for parents and kids.

"Those kids will see a lot of the same coaches as that have been delivering programming," he said. "So really there will be a lot of consistency with the programming in the past on the ground level. What we are trying to do is be more efficient on the administrative side, the organizational side, to try and create some high standards as far as how we deliver sports programming and to try and create a strong culture for all the coaches and teams."

Hunt said streamlining the administrative process will come through reducing redundancy between clubs. Four divisions of one club will replace five different clubs. The divisions include:
• freestyle traditional events, comprising aerials, moguls and development;
• free ski and snowboard, which is big mountain, park and pipe plus those events in snowboarding (which counts as a separate division)
• Nordic division, which covers cross country skiing, Nordic jumping and ski jumping.

Hunt dismissed concerns about losing more individualized training in the process of integration, saying that with gained efficiency, the club can create more comprehensive athlete development plans and will reduce headaches for parents whose kids want to try different sports.

"Hopefully, as we evolve and we put things into place, people will see strong organization with consistency in communication, consistency in programming, consistency in standards for coaches," Hunt said. He added that it could also provide stronger athlete services in terms of sports psychology, strength and conditioning and others.

As for streamlining administration. Hunt said there have been no layoffs.

"I think as we're evolving, we are really trying to build on the strengths of the different programs, so we are bringing in experience and the people that are involved in these programs and trying to build a stronger organization with them. That's really the goal," Hunt said. "Over time we will be able to create efficiencies. I think that's really kind of the idea – to be integrated instead of merging and starting over."