Vail Resorts announces marketing staff shuffle |

Vail Resorts announces marketing staff shuffle

VAIL – Vail Resorts Inc. announced a restructuring of its sales and marketing departments Friday, a move that includes the departure of two senior executives.

Martin White, the company’s senior vice president of marketing, and Richard Lesman, vice president of sales and distribution, will leave the company amid a decentralization of the departments.

“This in no way reflects on the considerable achievements and contributions made to Vail Resorts by Martin White and Richard Lesman,” Adam Aron, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, said in a statement. “We greatly value their accomplishments and will work fervently to continue and build upon their various initiatives.”

A company press release cited the growing number of resorts in the company’s portfolio outside of Colorado, including the recently acquired Heavenly Ski Resort in California, as the primary motivation for the changes.

“Through more local control, we believe this will allow each of our resorts and reporting segments to more easily focus on those programs which allow them to best and most appropriately market and sell their respective products and services,” Aron said.

“Vail Resorts has been widely viewed as having a highly professional marketing program and we have every intention of continuing in that tradition, albeit with a different and more decentralized focus.”

The move comes as the company continues to cut costs across the board in response to lackluster financial performance, especially during the third quarter of 2003.

“At this juncture, we have identified numerous ways to significantly enhance the company’s permanent cost structure and believe we can make additional expense reductions of more than $25 million in fiscal 2004,” Aron said in a statement released with the company’s third-quarter results.

A company spokesperson declined comment on whether the reorganization was part of those cost-cutting efforts.

The change will lead to a smaller central marketing and sales services group and increased emphasis on the

decision-making authority of existing field personnel, according to the company statement.

Each of the company’s resorts currently has its own on-site marketing chief. The Grand Teton Lodge Company, Vail Resorts Lodging Company in Denver, and the various resort hotels also have traditionally had sales and marketing executives in charge at each location, the statement said.

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