Vail Resorts has announced a leadership shuffle after Executive Vice President Chris Jarnot announced his departure from the company.

The EVP has been with Vail for 34 years and will remain in his position until the end of 2019 to ensure a smooth transition, according to the company. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rob Katz says Jarnot is “leaving behind a legacy of operational excellence, business sophistication and a culture of outstanding guest service”.

With Jarnot’s departure, and in anticipation of the closing of the Peak Resorts acquisition, Vail says in a statement that three new regional leadership roles have been created to to support their growing global portfolio.

Bill Rock, currently Chief Operating Officer of Park City Mountain, will relocate to Broomfield and will now oversee mountain resorts in Colorado and Utah; Pete Sonntag, currently Chief Operating Officer of Whistler Blackcomb since 2017, will relocate to Broomfield and will now oversee Whistler Blackcomb and Stevens Pass, as well as the three resorts in Lake Tahoe and three resorts in Australia; and Doug Pierini, currently Chief Operating Officer of Okemo Mountain Resort, will continue to oversee three Northeast resorts and will now have oversight of three Midwest resorts, as well as the 17 Peak Resorts’ ski areas in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, pending closing of the Peak Resorts transaction.

Geoff Buchheister who is currently the General Manager of Keystone Resort, will become the new Chief Operating Officer of Whistler Blackcomb. Buchheister joined Vail in 2015 during the acquisition of Park City, where he worked for 15 years and was serving as the Director of Finance. He went on to lead Vail’s three urban resorts in the Midwest prior to becoming general manager of Keystone in 2017.

“With oversight over distinct regions, we know Bill, Pete and Doug will ensure that our resorts have the leadership they need to maintain their unique identities while aligning to the world-class guest service, safety and operational standards Vail Resorts is known for” says Pat Campbell, President of the Mountain Division of Vail Resorts. “Each of these new regional leaders and COO moves come from within our own team, demonstrating the deep bench of talent at Vail Resorts.”

The leadership changes will go into effect ahead of the 2019/20 ski season.


Filed under: Geoff Buchheister, Pete Sonntag, Sea to Sky, Ski, Snow, Vail, Vail Resorts, Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb