Frank DeBerry Serves As Temporary COO At Snowshoe
Snowshoe, WV – Frank DeBerry, former President and Chief Operating Officer of Mountain Creek Resort in New Jersey, is now calling Snowshoe home, if only on a temporary basis. DeBerry was asked to come to Snowshoe following the departure of former COO Bill Rock. The resort industry is one he knows well.
“Started as a lift operator by winter and a lifeguard by summer and throughout my schooling in college I kept being drawn when I wasn’t in school back into the business” says DeBerry. “When I got out and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do I found myself continually going back to seasonal work and just have enjoyed it so much that I stayed in it. It’s probably the fact that I like it so much is why I’ve been able to continue to accomplish things in the business because it’s just a lot of fun to me.”
DeBerry spent most of his career at Mountain Creek Resort. Like Snowshoe, it was an Intrawest owned resort. In November 2008, DeBerry was named as President and Chief Operating Officer at Mountain Creek. But in 2010, with Intrawest facing financial difficulties, the company began to sell off some of its resort assets. That included the sale of Mountain Creek in May. DeBerry says hard decisions had to be made.
“Intrawest was in a position where we were at various stages of development in many real estate projects” he says. “We had taken on debt and I would says we got hit just as hard as many others and found ourselves in a position where we had to be able to pay off debt if we were going to survive. We took a good hard look at every operation we had and where we found that the value would best be placed in selling the resort, we made those moves.”
He says Mountain Creek, only 47 miles from New York City sees a lot more day trippers as opposed to Snowshoe’s overnight guests.
“I do see some similarities in the guests make up” says DeBerry. “Snowshoe does a very good job at attracting new and novice skiers and riders. And then the great thing about it there’s enough stuff to carry you through the intermediate and to the advanced side. The remoteness, once you’ve gotten yourself here, is really rewarding.”
As impressed as he is with Snowshoe, DeBerry says he won’t be making it his new home.
“Unfortunately for me, I have some family issues that are going to prevent that from happening” he says. “If it were just from a professional standpoint, and just from an enjoyment of where I am standpoint, sure I would love to do it, and that was certainly my intent when I came to visit. But its just not going to be able to happen for me. I do regret that because I can tell you I fell in love with the place from the minute I set foot here.”
DeBerry says besides a new COO, other things may need to change as well for the resort to continue its economic growth.
“Bill’s departure comes at almost the right time for that to happen because we’re living in a very different world from resort operations perspective than we were two and three years ago” he says. “And almost everyone has to kind of put those plans that they had in the drawer off to the side and say okay let’s look at the business again, what do we really need to do. I see Snowshoe as needing to really drive that beginner experience.”
The new chief operating officer at Snowshoe could be announced as early as March.