“You can’t make this stuff up.” Diamond heard that refrain regularly during his 44-year career in the ski resort industry, when he guided major ski resorts from Vermont to Colorado and was intimately involved in the most significant issues shaping the sport. So when he finally retired from his position as the president and COO of the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. in 2015, he decided to write it all down.
Armed with English degrees from Middlebury College and the University of Massachusetts, and fresh off a tour as a lieutenant in the Vietnam War, the author did not set out to build a career in the ski business. But in 1972, he wound up at Killington Ski Area, where he came under the wing of resort founder and visionary Preston Leete Smith and legendary marketer Foster T. Chandler. Killington at the time was setting the pace in everything from snowmaking to recruiting new skiers, and Diamond was a quick learner.
What followed was his total immersion in the resort industry, a business that evolved from simply getting skiers up the mountain into a multifaceted, vertically integrated service industry. He witnessed the seminal moments in resort ownership as it evolved from single-area entrepreneurs to conglomerates, including the dramatic implosion of Les Otten’s American Skiing Company and the downsizing of Intrawest during the 2008 Great Recession.
Diamond isn’t shy in pointing out mistakes made along the way, including his own. Ski Inc. is required reading and an entertaining ride for anyone who works in skiing, wants to work in the industry or is just passionate about the sport.
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