Ski Corp. hires Rob Perlman

Colorado Ski Country USA leader gets top marketing spot

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— Rob Perlman has been hired as vice president of sales and marketing for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., the resort announced Thursday.

Perlman is chief executive officer of Colorado Ski Country USA, the state's ski trade association. He will take over for Andy Wirth, who was hired in July as chief marketing officer of Intrawest, Ski Corp.'s parent company.

Wirth will no longer fill both roles.

"That created some late nights, some very early mornings and some red-eye flights to Vancouver," Canada, where Intrawest is based, he said. "This will lighten it up a bit."

Aside from the personal benefit, Wirth said he was thrilled to add Perlman to the Steamboat Springs team.

"We have actually had this job posted and been interviewing for the better part of eight, nine months," Wirth said. "This is a result of our commitment and my commitment to Steamboat to hire nothing less than an outstanding and exceptional individual to fill this spot, and I have no doubt that we have that in Rob Perlman."

Perlman has been in the ski industry for years. He raced in Steamboat when he was 11 or 12, and he has visited the area with his family. Perlman has held leadership roles in Winter Park, Vail and Mammoth Mountain in California.

"Steamboat is obviously one of the top resorts in the nation and, I would argue, the best family-friendly resort, hands down, in North America," Perlman said. "It has a tremendous energy going forward."

He said he and his family are excited to move from Denver to the Yampa Valley. Perlman and his wife, Erin, plan to arrive in July with their daughters, 8-year-old Amanda and 6-year-old Morgan.

"It's always been a special place," Perlman said. "My kids, I told them stories about when I used to race there. I told them about what a great mountain it is. It's a really family-friendly place, and they like the idea of horses and open spaces."

Perlman said he hasn't committed to getting the girls a pony.

He has led Colorado Ski Country USA for six years and represents the ski industry on the Colorado Tourism Office Board. He is a board member of the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau and a trustee of the Colorado Conservation Trust.

Perlman's versatility will serve him well, Wirth said.

"He's as comfortable making a presentation to the state Senate as he is leading a discussion on price and product development from a business standpoint," Wirth said. "He has a broad skill set that I think will work very much in his favor."

Perlman also "gets it," Wirth said, explaining that Steamboat is more than a brand name.

"There's no question this community gets in your blood," Wirth said.

Rough waters

Next season might be tough for Perlman, Wirth said.

"His biggest challenge is going to be navigating through the upcoming season, because there are many indicators that are not positive," Wirth said, referring to the effects the faltering U.S. economy might have on the ski industry. He said he had confidence that Perlman would successfully handle any financial slowdown.

He'll have a good team to back him up, Wirth said.

"You couple this talented person coming into a leadership role with a seasoned and experienced team, and I think we're very prepared to take on the challenge that's coming our way," Wirth said. He and Perlman will work closely, he said. Wirth plans to stay based in Steamboat.

Perlman said he was looking forward to living in a smaller town with less traffic that is off the Interstate 70 corridor. His goal is to push Ski Corp. forward.

Perlman aims "to build on the tremendous equity that the Steamboat brand has and to be a contributor to the success of the Steamboat resort as well as the community. I think that's what was appealing about this: The community and the mountain work very well together, and it's a really special place."

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