Vail Resorts has announced a new Chief Operating Officer at Whistler-Blackcomb.

The company announced Friday that Pete Sonntag will take over from Dave Brownlie. Sonntag is currently the Senior Vice President of Vail Resorts’ Lake Tahoe region. He will start this summer once his Canadian work visa is approved.
Pat Campbell, Vail Resorts’ Mountain Division President says Sonntag brings more than three decades of experience in the ski industry and “has held a variety of senior leadership roles with Vail Resorts at Heavenly, Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone in addition to his current role overseeing our three Tahoe resorts, Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood”

Sonntag has focused on both winter and summer operations at several of Vail Resorts’ properties according to Campbell. He believes that Sonntag’s knowledge and strategic thinking and leadership on and off the mountain will “drive the resort’s continued success and world-class reputation.”

In a media release the company provided the following background on the new COO:

‘Sonntag has been the Senior Vice President of the company’s Lake Tahoe region since 2015, serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Heavenly Mountain Resort with oversight of Northstar California and Kirkwood Mountain Resort. He was appointed to lead Heavenly in 2010. Prior to that, he was director of the Vail Mountain Ski & Snowboard School since 2009, where he was responsible for all operations of the world’s largest ski and snowboard school.

From 2007-2009 he was director of the Ski & Snowboard School for Beaver Creek Resort and from 2005-2007, Director of Skier Services at Keystone Resort. Sonntag began his ski career as an instructor for the Beaver Creek Ski & Snowboard School while working summers as a greenskeeper at the Beaver Creek Golf Club. He eventually worked his way up to supervisor and private lesson manager for the Beaver Creek Ski & Snowboard School in 2000 and was promoted to adult ski and snowboard school director in 2001.

Sonntag spent from 2003-2005 as director of the Copper Mountain Resort Ski & Ride School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Albany and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Vermont. Sonntag currently serves on the board of directors of the Tahoe Fund and the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.’

Sonntag will relocate to Whistler in the summer, and already have their eldest daughter living in B.C. at the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna. His son will be also be attending in the fall. Current COO Dave Brownlie will continue with Whistler-Blackcomb through mid-summer to ensure a smooth transition for the resort.


Filed under: COO, Dave Brownlie, Pete Sonntag, Vail, Vail Resorts, Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb