Perry leaves Skico to help launch affiliated ski company

David Perry
Courtesy photo |

David Perry, who played a key role in Aspen Skiing Co.’s marketing and mountain operations for the past 15 years, left the company Monday as its chief operating officer to help launch a new affiliated conglomerate of ski resorts.

Perry will be a full-time consultant to the joint venture created by Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL Capital Partners, Skico announced Tuesday. The joint venture reached agreements in April to purchase Intrawest Resort Holdings LLC and Mammoth Resorts.

Once the purchases are completed, he will be named to a role with the consolidated management company. That role wasn’t named Tuesday, though Perry was willing to give up a lucrative position in Aspen.

He joined Skico in 2002 and has steadily gained responsibilities ranging from mountain operations to marketing to summer events. He was promoted from senior vice president, mountain division to COO in November 2014.

“They are going to be big shoes to fill, for sure,” Skico CEO Mike Kaplan said.

He said he would determine by early November how to replace Perry. The responsibilities might be divided among existing executives rather than by appointing a replacement, he said.

“The way I’m looking at it is there’s a lot of talent internally,” Kaplan said.

The new joint venture will have diverse holdings, including Steamboat and Mammoth ski areas and Squaw Valley, which is already owned by KSL.

The proposed purchases cleared the sniff test with federal antitrust regulators earlier this month and are expected to be completed during the third quarter.

“It could be early August,” Perry said.

He said he had to quit Skico for legal and antitrust reasons before he could start working as a consultant with the new joint venture. There will be a lot of work to do during a compressed time between the closing of the purchases and the start of ski season. They have to name the new company and work on integration issues.

“The new company hasn’t been fully formed yet,” he said.

Perry said leaving his position wasn’t easy because he enjoys working with Aspen Skiing Co. and loves living in the Roaring Fork Valley, which he called “close to perfect.” He and his wife will keep their house in Woody Creek. The timing is right for a career move, he said, because their two daughters are out of high school and attending college.

Perry said he was interested in pursuing the new position because of the involvement of the Crown family, who are also 100 percent owners of Aspen Skiing Co. He said he also has a high regard for KSL.

Perry downplayed individual efforts at Skico.

“It’s all been done as a team, really,” he said.

He’s proud of the company’s accomplishments in environmental sustainability, events and marketing. He credited various executives for heading those efforts.

“I think the Aspen-Snowmass brand is as strong as it’s ever been right now,” Perry said.

Kaplan said Perry made “invaluable contributions to the company and community over 15 years.

“His leadership, industry knowledge and passion for the sport and lifestyle have been key to our success,” Kaplan said in a statement. “Although he will be missed, we look forward to working with David and the newly consolidated company on potential future projects and we know he will be a great asset to the new venture.”

Perry said it was reassuring to learn this spring and summer that the purchase of Intrawest and Mammoth by affiliates of Skico and KSL was well-received within the ski industry. It’s a good reflection on Skico, he said.

“You never really know how you’re perceived outside of our little valley,” Perry said.

The new company and Skico will be owned separately but they will work together “where it makes sense,” Perry said.

Perry and Kaplan said there is no chance of combined season ski passes at the affiliated resorts in winter 2017-18.