Successor to Hanna picked by ski resort

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— A 14-year ski industry veteran has been named Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.'s new senior vice president of marketing. Andy Wirth will take the marketing reins in late June after Rod Hanna's retirement from the company.

Wirth, 36, is the marketing director for ski corp. Chris Diamond, president of ski corp., said he was a natural choice to become a senior vice president because of his experience and position on the marketing team.

"He's got great strengths on the promotion side. He's very quick at identifying opportunities and has great analytical skills," Diamond said. "His creative marketing skills are balanced with his analytical skills and this is a very unique personality trait."

The announcement of Wirth's promotion came just short of two weeks after Hanna's retirement announcement.

"We wanted to announce this early so that Rod and Andy would have a number of months to work together before Rod's retirement in late June," Diamond said. "We want this transition to be as smooth as possible."

Hanna is leaving the company after 23 years to spend more time with his family and pursue creative endeavors.

Wirth will be responsible for all of the ski area's marketing efforts and functions including the development and marketing of Steamboat's non-stop air program, Steamboat Central Reservations, advertising, sales, public relations, special events and strategic business partnerships.

Prior to returning to ski corp. to become marketing director, Wirth was the director of western sales and partnership marketing for American Skiing Co.'s western resorts -- Steamboat, The Canyons in Utah and Heavenly in California.

Wirth had worked as the director of sales and partnership marketing for Steamboat for six years before taking the job with American Skiing. He began his career in Steamboat in 1986 as a marketing intern working on the non-stop air program in its inaugural year.

"This is going to be a challenge. But my success with this company shows their deep interest in the people of this community," Wirth said. "There are lots of opportunities here locally and in the ski industry in general. Everybody measures success differently, this job is more than a paycheck to me and that's how I've approached it over the years."

After what's being touted as a successful marketing year for the company, Wirth understands he'll have some large shoes to fill in Hanna's absence. He said he plans to keep the momentum going.

"The successes of this year were based on integrating market functions and moving with the industry trends. This won't be a quest for different marketing strategies but better strategies," he said. "We plan to be more aggressive on the Web and in tactical media -- integrating marketing campaigns in larger cities that include radio, TV and newspaper. I want to build on our successes and some of those areas are already defining themselves, like the Web."


-- To reach Bryna Larsen call 871-4205 or e-mail blarsen@amigo.net

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