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Mike Goar says goodbye to Park City Mountain Resort, heads to Switzerland in July

Mike Goar Headshot
Vail Resorts
Mike Goar will be headed to Switzerland later this summer to head up Andermatt-Sedrun south of Zurich.

Park City Mountain Resort’s now former Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Goar will be moving to Switzerland in July to head up a new Epic Pass destination.

One day after he officially handed over the reins of Park City Mountain Resort, Mike Goar looked back on his time in Park City.

Goar oversaw PCMR during the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic and dealt with dramatic changes in operations for health and safety reasons, terrain closures thanks in part to low snow years and sick employees, as well as traffic and parking issues. Those issues even spilled over into local government when two dozen residents voiced their frustrations with the resort experience to the Park City Council in February.

In response, Goar addressed the council and discussed the issues later that month and the resort announced new parking and circulation plans ahead of President’s Day weekend. Those measures remained in place through the end of the season and some version of them will also be implemented next winter.

Vail Resorts announced Goar’s departure as PCMR Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in early May. Goar will move to another Vail-owned property in Switzerland to become VP, COO, and Managing Director of Andermatt-Sedrun, which is roughly 70 miles south of Zurich in the Swiss Alps. Vail announced it would be acquiring a majority stake in the Swiss resort in April.

Goar’s successor in Park City is Deirdra Walsh, who returns to PCMR after serving as VP and general manager of Northstar Resort in the Lake Tahoe area since 2019. Walsh started her resort career in Park City in 2007.

Goar said it’s no accident Walsh was selected for the job in Park City.

“Sometimes we will tap someone on the shoulder and say, ‘hey, we think this is an opportunity that may fit well in your development, in growth, is this something you would be interested in?’" he said. "Sometimes jobs are posted and we’ll go through, typically, an internal interview process first.”

Goar started his ski industry career as a ski patroller at Arizona’s Sunrise Park Resort before coming to Utah’s Solitude Mountain Resort in 1981 to work in mountain operations.

After 27 years at Solitude, Goar moved to then-Canyons Resort in 2007 where he played a part in its acquisition by Vail in 2013.

Goar then spent time managing Vail properties in Colorado and Lake Tahoe before returning to Park City in 2019 to serve as PCMR’s VP and COO. His last day at PCMR was May 30.

Goar said he’ll still be in Park City for at least the next month.

“We’re still detailing the final dates," said Goar. "I will make a trip out next week to meet more of the team, but a final move is likely in the early part of July.”

Goar said with over 40 years in the industry under his belt, he knows retirement is approaching, but he’s not ready to hang his skis up just yet.

“I’m always hesitant to say that with certainty because I love the work, I love the teamwork, and I think I still have a lot left in me," he said. "I’m hesitant to say that with certainty, but no doubt, getting closer.”

Goar said he and his family still consider Park City to be their home. He said they will be keeping their house and will be back.