Ski industry legend Bob Wheaton was honored by the Park City Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau with the 2019 Myles Rademan Spirit of Hospitality Award Tuesday, at the Chamber/Bureau’s 37th annual meeting.
Longtime Deer Valley Resort President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Wheaton is the 16th honoree of the award. Myles Rademan presented the award to Wheaton, who stepped down in December 2018 from his role at the helm of Deer Valley, after nearly 40 years working in different capacities at the resort. Rademan walked the audience through Park City’s history as a ski town and talked about Wheaton’s role in shaping the community.
Todd Shallan, who took over for Wheaton at Deer Valley last September, joked that he’s been asked to speak about Wheaton more than 200 times since getting the job. Shallan says Wheaton was key to Deer Valley becoming what it is today, and that while the dress codes and grooming policies have changed, the culture and staff at the resort remain the same.
Chuck Coonradt, a management consultant who worked closely with Deer Valley for decades, says Wheaton’s three-circle model of care teaches employees to find the balance between taking care of the guest, the company and each other. Coonradt says it’s one of the best business models he’s ever seen.
Former Deer Valley owner Lessing Stern says if Wheaton hadn’t been in charge, he’s not sure the resort would be what it is today. Wheaton was able to fulfill Stern’s father Edgar’s vision to combine skiing along with the service, food and amenities of a five-star hotel, and Wheaton stuck to that high quality of service even though hard times.
Wheaton spoke briefly, saying he can’t believe how fortunate he’s been. He and his wife bought a lot in Summit Park, thinking if the resort didn’t work out, he could get a job in Salt Lake City. He called his career at Deer Valley “the opportunity of a lifetime.”