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When The Corner Office Is The Top Of The Chairlift

03_Wolf Creek

What is life like when you take over the family business, and that business is running a ski area?
Thats exactly what happened to Davey and Rosanne Pitcher, owner/operators of Wolf Creek,
one of the few family owned ski areas left in Colorado.

A unique combination of skills comes into play when youre the CEO and Vice President of a family ski area, everything from construction, heavy machine operation, restaurant management, and hospitality.

Here we take a look at a day in the life of Davey and Rosanne Pitcher as told to us by Rosanne.

Its a typical winter day. Wolf Creek is in the midst of a storm cycle. Its been dumping all night.

2am Daveys alarm goes off. He gets dressed for work in ski clothes as he does every day of the winter. Breakfast is oatmeal at the house before heading to the mountain.

3am Upon arriving at the resort, the overnight staff has been grooming and plowing. Davey gets in a snowcat, one of his favorite places to be, and starts grooming and checking in with his mountain crew.

Before sunrise, preparations for avalanche control work begin. Davey works with ski patrol to prepare explosives by fetching them from where they are kept and bringing them back to the patrol room where they are assembled.

At first light avalanche control work starts. Lift operators have arrived on the mountain to run patrol up. Ski patrollers are geared up and head out for controlling.

5am Food deliveries arrive.

6:30am Rosannes alarm goes off and she dresses for work, looking forward to some powder turns.

8am Rosanne leaves the house and runs errands on the way up to the ski area. She catches up on the days news with NPR is on the car radio during the 23 mile drive up Wolf Creek Pass.

8:30 am Guests are arriving and the lifts are running. When morning work is over, Davey grabs a snack and does a ski around, which is where he takes runs and sees how the mountain is skiing, checks on things and various departments.

This is also when Rosanne arrives at the mountain. Every day she takes runs, and because today is a powder day, shes on her board right away.

10am Issue management time. Rosanne runs the ticket office and sports shop and checks in with them. She then heads to her office and does some deskwork, checks e-mails, works on photos, returns phone calls, and deals with the days issues.

11am The last place Davey is usually found is behind his desk. But occasionally he logs in some office time and reads anything important his assistant left for him on his desk.

1pm Lunch. Davey and Rosanne have lunch together. They eat in the base lodge discussing ski area issues and spending time with guests chatting about the day and the snow and listening to guests ideas about the resort.

2pm Rosanne goes back into her office. Davey heads to his office and meets with staff department heads such as ski patrol director and lift managers for status and operations updates.

Both Davey and Rosanne are constantly connected to their staff on the mountain via their radios. Because Davey is the mountain manager he scans all the stations which allows him to be connected to the mountain at all times. This way he is in touch constantly always getting information from lifts and patrol. Rosanne runs all the base operations so she is in touch with those department heads continually as well.

WolfCreek_scottdwsmith_RosanneDavey

4pm Lifts close and evening groomers arrive at the mountain. Some will take a ski around and then check in with Davey. Rosanne checks in with the team in the ticket office.

5pm Rosanne is often one of the last people to leave the resort. Occasionally, she and Davey will leave together but often he will head home first.

6pm Groomers are in their snowcats and grooming starts.

7:30pm Davey and Rosanne end the work day at home and enter family mode. Wolf Creek topics are part of the family discussions although other areas of interest are meant to be the priority. Because the ski area is family run it becomes more of a lifestyle than a job. Rosanne turns on the TV and starts cooking. The family has a drink and dinner together its time to relax.

9pm Davey calls it a day and goes to bed.

11pm Rosanne reads and goes to sleep.