Friday, February 6, 2009

Sun Valley Co. changes guard in Utah

Former Sun Valley manager leaves Snowbasin

Express Staff Writer

Snowbasin, the Utah ski resort that hosted some of the alpine events of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, has a new general manager. Both the old and the new general managers have ties to Sun Valley. Snowbasin, which bills itself as "a Sun Valley Resort," is also owned by Utah billionaire Earl Holding.

Sun Valley Co. confirmed that Controller Kent Lyons took the place of Denzel Rowland as Snowbasin's general manager last week.

Lyons worked in the accounting department in Sun Valley before transferring to Snowbasin. Calls to him have not been returned.

A link on the Snowbasin Web site called "From the desk of the General Manager" is marked "Under construction. Check back." It still shows a photo of Rowland.

In a brief telephone interview Wednesday, Rowland said that "after 33 years it became time to call it quits." He declined to comment further.

Rowland is well known in Sun Valley. He first went to work for Sun Valley resort when it was owned by Bill Janss in 1974, staying on when Holding became owner in 1977. Rowland was for several years the mountain director on Bald Mountain. Before that he worked as a ski patrolman at Mammoth Mountain, Calif., and at Yosemite's Badger Pass.

He left Sun Valley for Snowbasin in advance of the 2002 Winter Olympics, where he became mountain director and construction manager in charge of the enormous work required to prepare Snowbasin for the Olympics in a relatively short period of time. His efforts in those positions garnered him a prestigious Sammy Future Leadership Award in 2002 from SAM (Ski Area Management) Magazine, the voice of the mountain resort industry. In the award citation, Rowland was described as a "hands-on manager" who "transformed Snowbasin Ski Area into a world-class Olympic venue in record time."

Rowland was later promoted to general manager of Snowbasin, a position he held until last week.

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