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New Deer Valley President and COO Todd Bennett calls employees key to success

Deer Valley President and Chief Operating Officer Todd Bennett in KPCW studios.

Deer Valley Resort’s new president and COO Todd Bennett spoke with KPCW about his first months on the job.

Bennett is a Lake Placid, New York native who grew up skiing. Professionally speaking, he comes to Deer Valley from the world of Disney.

“I rotated through several different areas - revenue management, I did some experience design work," Bennett said.

"If you’ve ever seen the MyMagic+ program, which is an RFID wristband and app to kind of make your pains and hassles of your visit a little bit better. And then moved into the operating side in California.”

Before arriving at Deer Valley, Bennett said he’d been to Park City roughly 30 times, and had skied Snowbird about 50 times. He said since he started in August, he’s worked to learn more about Park City’s context and history.

On his approach to managing the resort, he said wants to focus on its founding principles.

“It comes back to the history of the Sterns and kind of their vision, which was really about service," Bennett said.

"It’s about grooming, it’s about dining. But it does come down to that elevated service level. What does that mean? To go after that, we have to be a great employer. We have to be a place that people want to work.”

Listening to workers is key, he said; and pay and housing are important variables in worker retention and satisfaction. He said Deer Valley is well-staffed heading into the winter season.

He said he’s still getting caught up on the Snow Park base area redevelopment.

“We have to get the transportation right. We have to get the parking right. That’s what we’re working with the city right now on.”

Will Deer Valley follow other resorts and start charging for parking? Bennett said that already occurs in Silver Lake, and he will keep an eye on the parking situation around town this winter as they plan for the future.

“Parking is always an issue in town and I think we have to watch closely what’s going on at Park City Mountain," he said.

"I think there’s also some opportunity the city might change their plans on how they do paid parking. So we need to make sure that we’re fitting within that. What can’t happen is that we have everyone using the free Snow Park lot at Deer Valley, and then using that for other purposes to get around town.”

He said the Burns lift reconfiguration will occur in the coming weeks. The goal with the change is to reduce congestion on the mountain by redirecting the ski school program.

Corrected: October 12, 2022 at 9:03 AM MDT
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated 'Silver Lake' as 'Silver Creek.'