Ski Corp. lays off six employees

Official: Intrawest seeking 'cost and operational efficiencies'

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The gondola building at Steamboat Ski Area, shown on Friday afternoon, houses offices for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., which operates the Steamboat Ski Area and is owned by Intrawest. On Aug. 10, Intrawest laid off six year-round Ski Corp. employees. An Intrawest official said the move was part of an effort to streamline the cost and operational efficiencies of the business.

— Six year-round employees of the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. have been laid off, an Intrawest official confirmed Friday.

Andy Wirth, executive vice president of sales and marketing and chief marketing officer for Intrawest, said six employees in Ski Corp.'s financial department were notified of the decision Aug. 10. Wirth said the layoffs are part of Ski Corp.'s efforts to "constantly seek operational and cost efficiencies." He said the layoffs do not imply a centralization tactic resulting from the March purchase of Ski Corp. by Intrawest, which also owns Copper Mountain resort, operates the Winter Park resort and has "shared services" offices in Golden.

"There have been some organizational changes made, as a function of our company's merge with Intrawest," Wirth said. "These are changes that have been contemplated since the acquisition."

"The word 'centralize' is really a bit of a misnomer," Wirth continued. "This is a reorganization as we seek cost efficiencies in elements of our business."

Intrawest is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, near its flagship Whistler Blackcomb resort. Its Golden offices are used for company services including accounting, payroll and legal, Wirth said.

Wirth said additional layoffs at Ski Corp. will not occur in the near future.

"For the fiscal year of 2008, we anticipate the maximum number of employees impacted to be six," Wirth said, clarifying that those six are the employees who were notified Aug. 10.

Ski Corp.'s 2008 fiscal year began July 1 and concludes June 30, 2008.

Wirth acknowledged that letting go of local employees is a difficult decision.

"We value all of the people on our team, and certainly appreciate those individuals and their past contributions," Wirth said.

A Ski Corp. employee contacted Thursday said the fired employees signed contracts that do not permit them to speak about the situation for at least several weeks. Wirth would not confirm that, saying details of personnel issues are confidential.

Ski Corp. has more than 250 year-round employees and a total of about 1,900 employees, including seasonal staff at the Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel.

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