McCarthy fondly leaving Summit County behind |

McCarthy fondly leaving Summit County behind

summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado

Seven years ago, Roger McCarthy came to Summit County as COO of Breckenridge Resort. He leaves this week claiming a string of successes at both Breckenridge and Keystone.

Perhaps that’s why he has characterized his leaving as “bittersweet.”

Notably under his tenure, Breckenridge built the BreckConnect gondola, vitally connecting the resort’s base areas to the town’s historic downtown core. New developments at Breck’s Peaks 7 and 8 have real estate values through the roof.

Last year, the oxygen-light Imperial Express chairlift was built, giving everyone a chance at a backcountry skiing experience. Breck grew skier visits by a whopping 150,000 last year.

And at Keystone, the mountain has undergone a transformation during McCarthy’s time at the top. Snowcat tours now take adventurous souls to the wide expanses of Bergman, Erickson and Independence bowls. The modern A51 Terrain Park draws throngs of shredders to Keystone now, and improved grooming and snowmaking are keeping skiers and riders increasingly satisfied at the resort.

“Things are just moving really well here,” McCarthy said. “Breckenridge has had a hell of a year. Keystone has had a hell of a year. I don’t feel like I’m going to walk away and this thing is going to fall on its face.”

More broadly, McCarthy is most proud of the relationship he was able to shepherd between Vail Resorts and the Town of Breckenridge ” saying, “I think the town and the mountain really didn’t have a common vision when I got here.”

He called former Mayor Sam Mamula “a lifelong friend,” said he and current Mayor Ernie Blake “hit it off the first couple of times that we met,” and specifically mentioned former town councilmembers Larry Crispell and John Warner as “cornerstones” to the crucial relationship.

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