The New Face of Okemo and Vail Resorts East

Vail Resorts is shaking things up in the management of its three east coast resorts.

In late October, the company announced that it will create a new “Northeast regional structure” after closing on its acquisition of Triple Peaks, LLC on September 27, 2018. Triple Peaks, LLC previously included Mount Sunapee, N.H., Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow and Crested Butte Resort in Colorado. Triple Peaks was previously owned by Tim and Diane Mueller and their children Ethan and Erica Mueller.

The Muellers purchased Okemo Mountain in 1982. As they grew the ski area, they expanded their ski resort operations business to acquire Mount Sunapee in 1998, and then Crested Butte Mountain Resort in 2004.

“Diane and I are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished at the three resorts for the last 36 years,” said Tim Mueller on June 4, when Okemo’s sale to Vail Resorts was announced.

On June 15, the Vermont Ski Areas Association recognized the Muellers for their contributions to ski culture and business in Vermont at its annual meeting. Tim and Diane spoke about fostering a sense of community among their employees and guests, thanked their staff and reflected on changes they’ve seen in the ski industry over the course of their long careers.

As part of Vail Resorts’ plans for a new regional approach to managing its resorts in the northeast, the company is promoting Kirkwood general manager and Vice President Doug Pierini to Chief Operating Officer of the new Northeast Region. He will also serve as Okemo general manager, effective Oct. 25. Pierini has worked for Vail Resorts for eight years. Pierini got his start in the ski industry working as a ski instructor at Jackson Hole Resort in Wyoming, working his way up to Ski School Manager at Jackson Hole and later to Ski School Director for Booth Creek Resorts, the former owner and operator of eight ski areas across the east and west coasts, including Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe in Calif., Grand Targhee in W.Y. and Cranmore, Loon and Waterville Valley in N.H.

Okemo general manager Bruce Schmidt will take over as general manager of Mount Sunapee and current Mount Sunapee General Manager Jay Gamble “will stay on to support the transition until Friday, Nov. 9.” Vail Resorts said in a statement issued by Bonnie MacPherson, director of communications for Okemo, on Oct. 29. MacPherson has been promoted to Vail Resorts communications manager, Northeast. Jeff Wise, director of communications for Stowe Mountain Resort, will now also serve as senior communications director for Vail Resorts, Northeast.

Schmidt and Stowe Mountain Resort general manager Bobby Murphy will now report to Pierini, according to the same statement.

Vail Resorts hopes that the new Northeast regional structure will better support the operational oversight of its three Northeastern resorts and help them adapt to Vail Resorts’ policies and management styles as they are integrated into the company.

Featured Photo Caption: Doug Pierini, Okemo’s new General Manager and COO of Vail Resorts’ new Northeast Region division. Photo courtesy Okemo Mountain Resort/Vail Resorts.

Abagael Giles

Abagael Giles is the Assistant Editor at Vermont Ski + Ride Magazine. She loves free-heel skiing and exploring her home state of Vermont–one ridgetop at a time. Find her on Twitter at @AbagaelGiles.