Ski Inc.: My Journey Through Four Decades in the Ski-Resort Business, from the Founding Entrepreneurs to Mega-Companies (Hardcover)
"You can't make this stuff up."
Chris Diamond heard that refrain regularly during his 44-year career in the ski-resort industry, when he guided major ski resorts in Vermont and Colorado and was intimately involved in the most significant issues shaping the sport. So when he finally retired from his position as the president and COO of the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corp. in 2015, he decided to write it all down.
Ski Inc. is unlike any book ever published on skiing, providing a candid and colorful behind-the-scenes view of what it takes to manage a successful resort in a constantly changing resort industry.
Armed with English degrees from Middlebury and UMass, and fresh off a tour as a lieutenant in the Vietnam War, the author did not set out to build a career in the ski business. But in 1972, he wound up at Killington Ski Area, where he came under the wing of resort founder and visionary Preston Leete Smith and legendary marketer Foster T. Chandler. Killington at the time was setting the pace in everything from snowmaking to recruiting new skiers, and Diamond was a quick learner.
What followed was his total immersion in the resort industry, a business that evolved from simply getting skiers up the mountain into a multi-faceted, vertically integrated service industry. He witnessed the seminal moments in resort ownership as it evolved from single-area entrepreneurs to conglomerates, including the dramatic implosion of Les Otten's American Skiing Company and the downsizing of Intrawest during the 2008 Great Recession.
Through all the peaks and valleys, Diamond developed a unique leadership style that had its roots in his Vietnam experience. He flourished as a "musher-manager"--picking the right team, providing direction, making sure everyone had the right tools, and then getting out of the way.
Diamond isn't shy in pointing out mistakes made along the way, including his own. Ski Inc. and Ski Inc. 2020 are required reading and entertaining rides for anyone who works in skiing, wants to work in the industry, or is just passionate about the sport.
About the Author
Chris Diamond is a resort consultant and author. He started his career as an assistant to the president of Killington in 1972, and was the president of Mount Snow, Vermont, from 1977 to 1994. From 1994 to 1996 he served as the vice president for Business Development and president of the Vermont resorts for S-K- I Ltd. He then spent 17 years at the helm of Steamboat before retiring in 2015. He is a past director and chairman of Colorado Ski Country USA and of the National Ski Areas Association, which presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013. Chris lives in Steamboat Springs with his wife, Eileen.
Andy Bigford, who edited Ski Inc., has spent 35 years in ski-related publishing, starting his career managing newspapers in Breckenridge and Aspen. He was the editor-in- chief and then publisher of SKI, and the general manager of Warren Miller Entertainment.
"This is a page-turner for anyone who works in skiing—or has a passion for the sport." Michael Berry, president of the National Ski Areas Association.
“Chris Diamond arrived in Steamboat Springs in the late 1990s as president of the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation. From the beginning, he faced resentment and hostility from residents of the town who detested the presence of the American Skiing Company, the new owners of the resort and Chris’ employers. In part, this is the story of how, over the next 17 years, with skill and grit and determination, he led the company through tumultuous times to a restored place of prominence in the industry." —Verne Lundquist, CBS Sports
"This book is rich in history and business. Chris' background and experience rip back the curtain on a few of our classic characters. At its core, the book captures his love of the sport—and the unique personalities that we are all blessed to share it with." —Jerry Blann, President, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
"A must-read for anyone who wonders if there is money to be made in the business." Steve Reinemund, the retired Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and the former Dean of Business at Wake Forest University.