Whistler guru takes over helm of Ski Country | AspenTimes.com

Whistler guru takes over helm of Ski Country

Aspen Times Staff Report

The state ski industry has gained a marketing guru who is guaranteed to “move the needle for Colorado,” according to Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Pat O’Donnell.

Colorado Ski Country USA announced Monday that it hired David Perry as its new president and CEO. He takes over for John Frew, who resigned after five years to pursue other career interests.

O’Donnell played a key role in hiring Perry to run the 25-resort ski industry trade association. O’Donnell was a member of Colorado Ski Country’s selection committee and made the call to recruit Perry.

O’Donnell said he hired Perry to market Whistler when O’Donnell was president and CEO there in the early-1990s. “I think he’s absolutely outstanding,” said O’Donnell.

He credited Perry with being the key strategist in Whistler’s climb to the number one resort in North America since its merger with Blackcomb three years ago.

Whistler/Blackcomb is the only North American resort to top 2 million skier and snowboarder visits. It has accomplished that each of the last two seasons.

O’Donnell said 15 people applied for the Colorado Ski Country opening. It was narrowed to four but “nobody was in David Perry’s league,” he said.

Frew was considered a good overall administrator and great on legislative issues, which he helped the state industry resolve.

However, out-of-state customers have dropped for four straight years in Colorado, causing industry leaders much angst. So when Frew resigned, Colorado Ski Country’s selection committee was directed to find someone with proven ability in marketing.

“What it’s really about is to drive the business,” said O’Donnell. “He understands the job is to boost domestic and international business.”

O’Donnell also said he knows first hand that Perry is an excellent skier and snowboard rider.

“He’s exactly the kind of guy you want to promote the sport of snowsliding,” said O’Donnell.

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