A day after officially handing over the reins of Park City Mountain Resort, Mike Goar reflected on his time in Park City.
Goar oversaw PCMR during the tumultuous COVID-19 pandemic and faced dramatic changes in operations for health and safety reasons, field closures in part due to low snowfall years and sick employees , as well as traffic and parking problems. Those issues even spilled over to local government when two dozen residents expressed their frustrations with the resort’s experience at the park’s city council in February.
In response, Goar addressed the council and discussed the issues later that month and the station announced new parking and traffic plans ahead of the President’s Day weekend. These measures remained in place until the end of the season and a version of these will also be implemented next winter.
Vail Resorts announced Goar’s departure as vice president and chief operating officer of PCMR in early May. Goar will move to another Vail-owned property in Switzerland to become vice president, chief operating officer and general manager of Andermatt-Sedrun, which is about 70 miles south of Zurich in the Swiss Alps. Vail announced that it would acquire a majority stake in the Swiss station in April.
Goar’s successor at Park City is Deirdra Walsh, who returns to PCMR after serving as Vice President and General Manager of Northstar Resort in the Lake Tahoe area since 2019. Walsh began her career at the resort of Park City in 2007 .
Goar said it was no coincidence that Walsh was selected for the Park City job.
“Sometimes we tap someone on the shoulder and say, ‘hey, we think this is an opportunity that could fit well with your development, your growth, is this something you would be interested in ?'”, did he declare. “Sometimes jobs are posted and we will usually go through an internal interview process first.
Goar began his career in the ski industry as a ski patroller at Sunrise Park Resort in Arizona before coming to Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah in 1981 to work in mountain operations.
After 27 years at Solitude, Goar moved to Canyons Resort in 2007 where he was instrumental 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 vice president and chief operating officer of PCMR. His last day at PCMR was May 30.
Goar said he will still be in Park City for at least the next month.
“We are still in the process of detailing final dates,” Goar said. “I will be making a trip next week to meet more members of the team, but a final move is likely in early July.”
Goar said with more than 40 years in the industry under his belt, he knows retirement is coming, but he’s not ready to hang up his skis just yet.
“I’m still hesitant to say it for sure because I love work, I love teamwork and I think there’s still a lot left in me,” he said. “I’m hesitant to say for sure, but no doubt, come closer.
Goar said he and his family still call Park City their home. He said they would keep their house and come back.