We sat down with Kirkwood’s new General Manager, Casey Blann, to hear his thoughts on the future of Kirkwood. He spoke candidly on his long-term vision for the resort, safety improvements and his commitment to guest service.
Q: What is your long term vision- Winter/Summer now that you have been around Kirkwood for 6 months? Ideas, focus, feeling?
A: As I mentioned at the Homeowners Meetings held earlier this summer; I will not presume to know everything there is to know about Kirkwood's winter operations. I would much rather take the opportunity to see first-hand how the resort functions and see what areas need attention to improve the overall guest service component of our operations. I am truly excited to put the skis on this winter and tour the resort and talk to our guests about what improvements are most important to them. As for summer, we will continue to monitor how the various events work and what opportunities we have for changes in our summer operations. From people I have talked to this year; they are pleased with the condition of the bike trails and we will look to continue the same effort through Labor Day Weekend.
Q: Safety- A report out in the current SM magazine is focused on Chair lift safety, I understand one of your 1st priorities is to install comfort bars on all lifts @ Kirkwood. What are your goals for us here in 2012?
A: We are committed to having comfort bars on each and every chair for the 2012-13 season. This is no small job and I am very pleased with the effort put forth by the Lift Maintenance Team in order to accomplish this task along with the other “normal” work they must finish. This team is committed and sees guest and employee safety as their top priority.
Q: Service- An area we have struggled in the past has been service, more on the consistency side, What do you see as priority in the service arena Casey? Will we see the change ahead?
A: The Kirkwood Team has seen challenges in delivering a quality service experience in the past; this is my top priority here at the resort this season. No one wants to visit a resort one day and have a good time, then to return the next and find that it just wasn’t the same. Only when you achieve a consistent, high quality program can you consider yourself to be a Vail Resort. My goal is to work with the Kirkwood Staff to give the vision of what we want, the resources to enable them to deliver and the clear expectation along with accountability to ensure we are doing what we promised-----day in and day out.