Erin Laboy from Afton Alps
When rain was expected during daytime classes, Erin brought drying racks and space heaters from home to dry kids’ gloves when they came inside for their hot cocoa break. She ensured a positive experience for the kids – and also for the instructors, who used the rack and heaters to dry off their uniforms during breaks, too. Her thoughtfulness and willingness to provide elements from her home provided Experiences of a Lifetime for all despite the dismal weather!
Jessica Knowles from Beaver Creek
This season, while a couple were out skiing for the first time in decades, the husband fell and lost his ski. Jessica arrived quickly and helped with the search. When the search came up empty-handed, Jessica called for a sled for the husband, and showed his wife how to ski down without him. Jessica continued to look for the ski even after the couple left for the day – and her search was successful! She returned the ski to the rental shop and notified the couple, who are now loyal Beaver Creek guests.
Kirk O’Konski from Breckenridge
In November, a family asked to book a ski lesson at Peak 8 for Jeremy, their 14-year-old son who has autism. Kirk wanted to help. He hung out in the lobby and waited for the family to show up for the lesson, greeted them personally and got Jeremy skiing independently. Kirk was personable, engaging and ensured that the experience was fun for Jeremy right from the first minute. Jeremy was stopping, turning, and loving skiing after the first day! And his parents were so grateful. Kirk’s dedication ensured that this family could have an Experience of a Lifetime.
Sean Hanley from Broomfield
When you walk past Sean’s desk, you’re likely to find it crowded with several large boxes filled with foil-lined wrappers, plastic shopping bags, plastic film, batteries and other hard-to-recycle items. Sean collects these items personally, both at his desk and through bins that he puts around his floor, and delivers them to the appropriate recycling facility. Since employees aren’t typically able to recycle these items through the building, Sean keeps them all out of landfills. His true dedication to our Company’s Commitment to Zero has inspired many of his colleagues to re-evaluate the ways they can reduce waste in their own lives. Sean embodies our service mantra of Own It.
Michael Chick from Crested Butte
During the busy President’s Day weekend, Crested Butte received over a foot of new snow on an already incredible base. A visiting 10-year Epic Pass holder wanted to experience our legendary steep terrain in historic conditions, but unfortunately, the guest and his family did not get the experience they were looking for. Mike heard, and immediately stepped in. He spent the next couple of hours delivering exceptional instruction and guidance through the steep terrain and deep snow. The next morning, Mike connected with the guest and his sons for another hour of guidance to ensure the guest had the Experience of a Lifetime. What Mike did not know is that this guest is a personal friend of David Shapiro, our Company’s General Counsel, and long-time Vail visitor. Now, the guest has an annual visit to Crested Butte on his calendar.
James Scott from Epic Mountain Express
In December, James took control of the new uniforms for the Epic Mountain Express rebrand. He worked countless hours to inventory, track and distribute new uniforms to all drivers in Eagle and Summit Counties in Colorado. His time, effort, professionalism and distribution are astonishing! This task acted as a full-time second job for James in addition to his role as Driver Training Specialist, where he spreads a contagious positive attitude and leaves drivers begging for more with his training videos. Consistently raising the bar isn’t done often or easily, but James begs to differ.
Amy Spurlock from Grand Teton Lodge Company
Last season, a transformer blew in the cabin area, eliminating power to half of guest cabins. The property was sold out for the week, and it was going to take four days to get full power restored. Amy was the front desk supervisor and jumped straight into action. She contacted all of the guests and delivered solar-powered lights and candles. She also called sister properties to find out about moving multi-day guests. Amy stayed until 1 a.m. that night, then returned two hours before her shift the next day to take care of “her” guests. Amy completely owns her role, and not just when the day seems dark and the lights go out. She helps out wherever she can without thinking twice and without expecting anything in return.
Rick “Moose” Rogers from Heavenly
While riding up the chair with 13-year-old Chase and his father, Moose struck up a conversation and found out that Chase, a frequent Heavenly visitor, was curious about how and what Ski Patrol does. Moose invited him on the Experience of a Lifetime. He invited Chase and his dad to join Patrol’s end-of-the-day sweep, then to come back first thing the next morning. The two participated in the morning meeting, took daily weather observations, and helped assess and advise what terrain would be open for the day. Moose and fellow patroller D.H. then sent Chase and his dad home with Heavenly avalanche rescue dog shirts and stickers so that they will always remember the day.
Emma Anderson from Hospitality
When all roads around Keystone suddenly closed during a November snow storm, there was an influx of same-day lodging reservations from guests seeking shelter. Emma walked out of the call center at the end of the day to find cars lining the road between the check-in desk and the highway. She quickly leapt into action. Emma called Keystone Emergency Services, then grabbed a reflective jacket and directed traffic until Emergency Services could arrive. After getting the traffic situation under control, she stopped by the front desk and helped the front desk supervisor. Then, she rolled up her sleeves and went to work to help housekeeping ready extra rooms for the evening. Emma stayed late into the evening and supported three departments other than her own, without being asked, to support the guest experience.
Ryan Putnam from Keystone
When an international student who was a visa employee broke his ankle, Ryan was instrumental in getting him the care he needed. Ryan made sure he got to the hospital for surgery, then spoke with doctors and coordinated everyone to make sure they understood the seriousness of the injury. He also picked the employee up at the hospital after surgery, took him to get his prescriptions, and made sure he got back to his room safely and comfortably. Ryan went above and beyond to make him feel cared for and safe, especially because he was so far from home.
Heather Dent from Kirkwood
This winter, Heather noticed an abandoned wheelchair at the ski racks in the Village Plaza. Heather quickly realized the potential for a missing sit-skier, so she took the necessary steps to begin an after-hours search. Soon after, the skier was found alone, in a closed area, with no means of communication. Thanks to her keen situational awareness, the skier is safe and sound.
Wayne McCarty from Mt. Brighton
During the annual Slush Cup event at Mt. Brighton, a participant went underwater and didn’t immediately come back up. Before Ski Patrol had a chance to react, Wayne jumped into the freezing cold Slush Cup pond to pull the man out of the water. Wayne was dressed in his uniform – not waders or a wetsuit. He did what needed to be done to assist our guest without concern for his own comfort.
Hillary Hagerty from Mount Sunapee
Hillary was a huge support during integration. She went above and beyond to learn all of the onboarding systems that were implemented, and helped all employees and departments with a number of emotional, urgent issues. Hillary got the job done effectively and efficiently – but also with grace and kindness! Hillary is thoughtful and has gone out of her way to support employees in need of an extra hand.
Ian Perry from Northstar
In December, Ian was working at mid-mountain when he overheard a child trying to purchase suspenders with resort charge. The child was in a ski lesson, and his pants were too big. He was having a terrible time. After being told he could only use resort charge to buy food, he left – visibly upset – and went back over to the ski school area. Ian purchased the suspenders himself, then went and found the child and gave him the suspenders. Ian’s incredible act of kindness made this child’s day!
Matt Fortuna from Okemo
On Christmas Day, a family came to the front desk to pick up their car and head home to Connecticut. Unfortunately, their keys were nowhere to be found. They needed to get home to meet family for the holiday, and the only option was for staff to drive them home. This is not an easy ask, especially on Christmas – but nobody had to ask. Matt volunteered. Matt took the concierge van and drove the family back to Connecticut, even stopping for a special lunch they had been looking forward to. He then picked up their spare keys, returned to Vermont, and drove the family’s car back to their home in Connecticut the next day. Matt showed us all what EpicService truly is: doing the right thing by putting our guests first.
Ryan Davidson from Park City
Ryan was nominated for every EpicService celebration at the resort over the season. It began when he committed his time to the snowmaking team, a group much in need of additional help during the early weeks of the snowmaking season. He then helped with a design to improve the foot and ski traffic in the area surrounding the National Ability Center, recognizing that the individuals making use of that facility were some of those in greatest need of well-cared for walkways and stairs. Most recently, he spent six hours shoveling snow to meet the expectations of the Lift Operations team. These are just three impactful examples of how Ryan offers his experience, knowledge, work ethic and goodwill across all business functions.
Arthur “Don” Peterson from Perisher
Don has gone above and beyond to assist one of the Disabled Wintersports Australia athletes that he instructs. He has traveled on his own time to attend many awards nights with the athlete’s family. Last season, when the family hit a kangaroo in their car, Don was there to help them get back to their accommodation that night. Then, he helped out with transportation over a number of weeks while the car was being repaired. Don provides a high level of customized support not only to this family, but to all of his clients and always anticipates their needs.
Miguel Cardenas from Retail
Every year, the Aurora Distribution Center adopts five less-fortunate families at a nearby elementary school during the holiday season. Miguel heads up this program, meeting with the principal to select the families and leading the donation drive. This year, he helped collect 768 pounds of food, 20 boxes of clothes and toys, eight bikes, and many other assorted goodies for the children, many of whom have single parents or no parents at all. Miguel helped these families have the best possible Christmas!
Alison Cappuccio from Stevens Pass
Each Tuesday, Alison skis with a longtime friend who comes up to the resort on the seniors’ bus. The bus parks in the bus lot across the highway from the resort, which means the guests have to walk across the pedestrian bridge. For some of the seniors, this walk is a challenging start to the day. Alison took it upon herself to make arrangements with the bus coordinator and our parking department to have a resort truck meet the bus. The truck hauled the gear, and some of the guests, over to the resort. Thanks to Alison, the guests were thrilled and extremely appreciative.
Will Vinci from Stowe
Will is consistently going above and beyond – but one day in particular sticks out. On this day, Will found a lost cell phone. He was able to contact the owner, who lives in Southern Vermont, and arranged to meet the guest off the interstate so that they would not have to drive back up to the mountain or through construction traffic to get their phone back. Later that day, Will helped another guest who had Parkinson’s. While the guest’s family was ziplining, Will rode the gondola down with the guest and stayed with him until his family returned. Will’s actions left these guests surprised, delighted and grateful.
Jeff Wiles from Vail
Jeff has been serving guests in Vail for more than 32 years. He has planned countless surprise and delight moments for guests, from marriage proposals to women’s tours in the back bowls. This past season, Jeff continued to show the world Vail’s legacy by creating an authentic 10th Mountain Division parade honoring our founders. He and his team brought to life the vision of the 10th Mountain Soldiers, all of whom are part of our legacy.
Lee Mounsey from Whistler Blackcomb
Lee was teaching a lesson with a family from New York this winter. Unfortunately, one of the kids broke their leg skiing near the end of their stay. One parent had already flown home to New York, so it was challenging for the other to spend time with her son in the hospital and care for her other two children. Lee offered to help. She went to Vancouver – on her day off – to care for the uninjured kids at their hotel, then took them to the airport to catch their unaccompanied minor flight back to New York.
This is just one example of how Lee was born to help others. Lee is always prepared and carries a first aid kit, extra layers, and power bank for charging guests’ phones in her backpack. She voluntarily shovels the stairs when needed. She decorated the Blackcomb locker room to boost morale and improve spirits during the busiest holiday period. She even provided homemade apple cider in the locker room during a cold spell in February. Lee’s infectious smile, love for the outdoors (especially skiing) and endless energy are an inspiration to the young and old. The ski industry is lucky to have her.
Vic Bozych from Wilmot
The Wilmot Mountain Ski School drop-off zone is VERY busy and congested during drop-off and pick-up times. In February, Vic was monitoring the area when a guest’s car slipped into gear and began to roll backward toward a very steep drop-off. Vic heard the guest frantically screaming and immediately ran to the rolling vehicle, opened the driver’s door, jumped in and stopped the car. Then he looked back and was shocked to see a 6-year-old child in the backseat, with no seat belt or car seat secured! The guest was extremely upset and visibly shaken, so Vic brought her to the restaurant and gave her hot chocolate while he parked the car and helped her calm down. Vic acted heroically and saved what could have been a very grave situation.
Each of our winners was invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Whistler Blackcomb to have their own Experience of a Lifetime. See what happened.