Ski resort manager stepping down

Powderhorn Mountain Resort General Manager Daren Cole announced Wednesday he will leave the company Nov. 1 citing personal and health reasons.

Cole departs after two years at the helm. During his tenure, he improved guest services and launched marketing programs that helped reposition the ski area in the resort marketplace, Powderhorn managing partner Andy Daly said in a news release.

Through his many volunteer efforts and outreach, Cole forged strong connections with Grand Valley communities, Daly said.

“This was a very difficult decision as I have truly enjoyed my time at Powderhorn,” Cole said in a news release.

“However, in the best interests of all involved I need to step aside and put my family and health first. I’m extremely proud of our team. We’ve realized some amazing accomplishments in a short amount of time and I have every confidence they will continue to impress,” he said.

Sam Williams, currently director of mountain operations for the resort, will replace Cole as general manager. He has lived in the Grand Valley and skied at Powderhorn since 1980, Daly said.

“I’ve always felt that Powderhorn has amazing untapped potential for a year-round mountain resort,” Williams said in a news release. “I’m excited about the work ahead. We have a great team in place and I look forward to leading that team as we continue to improve and grow.”

“We are sorry to see Daren go as he has done an outstanding job of building a strong guest service culture while assembling the leadership needed to reestablish Powderhorn as a successful regional resort,” Daly said.

Cole said he will continue to advise the resort and will stay active in the Grand Valley in many capacities, including as a member of the Grand Junction Visitors and Convention Bureau board of directors.

Powderhorn reported two strong seasons under new ownership and “is poised to find tremendous success as a unique year-round resort destination in the portfolio of Colorado recreation options,” Daly said.

Cole left his executive position at Crested Butte Mountain Resort to lead the management team at Powderhorn after Daly and sporting goods retailers Tom and Ken Gart bought the Grand Mesa ski resort at auction in 2011.


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