Keystone’s Tolton resigns
Summit County, CO ColoradoKEYSTONE – Chuck Tolton, a longtime fixture in Summit County’s ski industry, resigned from his position as Keystone’s director of mountain operations on Friday citing personal reasons. Tolton oversaw hundreds of employees under the scope of mountain operations, including the ski patrol, lift operations and vehicle maintenance departments, over the past four years at Keystone. Previously he worked for Vail Resorts at the corporate level and spent two decades at Copper Mountain Resort.His resignation from Keystone was effective on Friday.”I’m very sad to be leaving Keystone,” Tolton said on Monday. “I’ve made some very good friends there and I’m very proud of the work that’s gone into this turnaround.” The turnaround Tolton referenced includes a $4.5 million upgrade to the resort’s snowmaking system, a guided snowcat skiing operation that opened up more than 1,000 acres of snowcat-accessed and hike-to terrain in three bowls, and the movement and expansion of the A-51 Terrain Park. During his tenure, Tolton also played roles in bringing the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center to Keystone, re-vamping the resort’s master plan and pursuing an agreement with the U.S. Ski Team to train at Keystone.”With all that said, I felt that I had gone probably about as far as I was going to go, you know, in my career there. It just changed and that’s the nature of business. It needs to change – I support change – I also have to look at my own career and aspirations,” Tolton said.Keystone spokesperson Amy Kemp said it’s the company’s policy not to comment on personnel matters, but said that “we’ll miss Chuck and wish him the best.”Bill Bergman, one of Keystone’s founders and the resort’s first president, spoke highly of Tolton, calling him one of the best ski area “innovators, keepers and upgraders” in the business.”Basically he was friendly, courteous and customer-oriented. When I was running the joint, that’s what I was after,” Bergman said.Bergman also credited Tolton for being environmentally conscious and an overall great person who kept everybody friendly at the mountain. Tolton moved to Summit County in October 1977 to take a job as a ski patroller at Copper Mountain Resort. He stayed there for 20 years, working his way up to ski patrol director/overseer of operations risk management before taking a job with Vail Resorts as the director of risk management.In November 2002, he moved from the corporate offices into mountain operations at Keystone, following a restructuring within the company. As a result, Keystone chief operating officer John Rutter transferred to Grand Teton Lodge Company in Wyoming and Breckenridge COO Roger McCarthy took over Rutter’s duties. McCarthy continued handling both COO jobs until last month when Breckenridge skier services director Pat Campbell was named Keystone’s new COO.Tolton said he was asked to apply for the COO position, and did so, but said all along that he didn’t believe he was the person they were looking for to fill the job. Tolton stressed that his resignation was not the result of his not moving into the COO position.”I am perfectly happy or was perfectly happy overseeing the operating side,” he said.Tolton said he thought he would finish his career at Keystone, but in recent months had begun evaluating where he was professionally and decided it was time to move on.”This is my decision, I had some disappointments and I had to reevaluate, but I remain extremely loyal to those in the Keystone community,” he said. “I believe in the work that we were doing, I’m very proud of the progress that was made and that’s not going to change and they know that.” Tolton said he plans to take some time off and enjoy the holidays before deciding his next career move, which he said may or may not be in the ski industry.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-4629, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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