Meet Mount Snow’s Next General Manager: Erik Barnes
Thursday, November 2, 2017
MS: Who is Erik Barnes?
EB: While not directly a Vermont local, I’ve been around these parts for quite awhile now. I grew up in Hinsdale, N.H. and currently live in West Chesterfield. N.H. with my wife Peg, two daughters Lauren and Alexa, and my dog Ghost. As for my tenure here, I’ve been working at Mount Snow since the 1986-87 season.
MS: What first brought you to the slopes of Mount Snow?
EB: When I was seven, my mom took me up the road to Maple Valley to learn how to ski. After spending the whole day getting dragged up the hill by the rope tow, I threw my ski at my mom and said I would never try skiing again. Flash forward nine years, I met a girl in high school who could ski, so spent some time in the backyard at home and kind of figured it out (not really) so that I could spend more time with her. Eventually, we decided to go on a real ski trip, and by chance, we picked Mount Snow. Unlike my first experience, I had the time of my life and was bitten by the ski bug. So, when I got out of college, I thought Mount Snow would be a cool place to work for a season or two, and 30 years later I haven’t looked back.
MS: What positions have you held at the mountain over the years?
EB: A little bit of everything on the customer-facing side. Started out teaching skiing, moved up to training manager, managed the Learn-to-Ski and Learn-to-Ride Programs, and worked in retail selling some of the first shaped skis. Eventually, I moved into the role of ski school director, and then skiing services director, to my most recent position as director of resort operations and director of golf for Mount Snow. I also managed our sister resort Crotched MTN, as well as retail for the Northeast properties for our parent company Peak Resorts.
MS: What most excites you about the GM position?
EB: It’s all of the different moving parts that go into running a world-class resort like Mount Snow, from our hundreds of staff who are some of the best people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, to managing budgets, improving guest experiences, and of course seeing what our new snowmaking system can do!
MS: What’s your favorite thing about Mount Snow?
EB: It’s all about the location and the fact that it offers me the ability to get up from my desk, and simply walk outside and ski or play a round of golf anytime I want. I have the best job in the world, as I often have to “sample” the two outdoor activities I love the most.
MS: What summer project are you most excited for and why?
EB: I can’t just pick one, I like all of our major summer updates for different reasons. With West Lake and our new snowmaking system, I think the process of figuring out the logistics and utilizing it to its full potential is going to be awesome to see and will be a real thrill for both first-time guests, and lifelong passholders. On the other hand, the Long John widening is going to make the beginner experience here so much better, and the guests will see the improvement from the very first moment they head down the new trail.
MS: What do you do when you can’t ski?
EB: Crunch numbers, look closely into existing processes and try to figure or how to make them better for our guests, sleep, play a ton of golf. Seriously, if it’s summer and you need to find me, I’ll be down the road on our golf course.
MS: What is one thing you wish people knew about Mount Snow?
EB: It’s a great place for our guests to relax and leave all of life’s turmoil behind them. So many people are caught up in checking things off the list, but with so many great places to explore, I feel that people should treat Mount Snow as a lifestyle and take time to experience things rather than try to do it all at once.
MS: What are your predictions for this upcoming winter?
EB: I think that we are in a solid position to have an awesome ski season this year with this new snowmaking system. I can predict that if you come up to the resort this year you will have the time of your life. I have been here for 31 years, and can’t imagine being anyplace else.
MS: How/where do you après?
EB: Loaded question, back in the day it was Cuzzins, Coops Bar, and the Snowbarn. Now it is a quick drink with a few friends once in a while at the Taproom. But mostly it’s a glass of wine home with my wife after a long day.