May 30, 2002 – Looking toward youth to inject new energy into the ski industry, Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. has created a new position, naming Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson director of youth market development, Chris Ryman, president of Booth Creek, announced Thursday.
Gunnarson will work with each of Booth Creek’s seven resorts, as well as Telluride Ski and Golf Company, to better appeal to youth. He will concentrate on the operational development of terrain parks, halfpipes, snow skate parks, special events and other non-ski related activities. Gunnarson will also assist the resorts in their marketing and branding efforts as they pertain to youth snow sport experiences and alternative sports.
“Booth Creek is embracing youth – and all the energy and excitement they bring to the slopes – like never before,” Ryman said. “Top-of-the-line terrain parks and exhilarating events are a huge draw in trying to bring new snow sports enthusiasts and their families to our resorts. Gunny brings the expertise we need to raise the bar and grow on-mountain activity.”
Most recently, Gunnarson served as president and founder of Snow Park Technologies, Inc., a consulting firm specific to the snow sports industry.
For now, Gunnarson will continue to operate Snow Park Technologies in a limited capacity. Past and current clients include Vans Triple Crown of Snowboarding, the World Championship of Snowboarding, and numerous resorts throughout North America, Europe and Asia.
“I’m excited to join the progressive Booth Creek team,” Gunnarson said. “This is an incredible opportunity that will enable me to work with each resort from the planning stage through execution. My goal is to help evaluate each resort’s current products, brands and guests, as well as assist in the development and implementation of a strategy that will appeal to the youth market and their enthusiasm for snowboarding, snow skating, free skiing and any of the latest forms of snow sliding devices.”
Gunnarson also served as an independent consultant in the development of the Microsoft X Box snowboard game, Amped Freestyle Snowboarding (Amped). He was a member of the creative team that was responsible for the development and design of the game’s levels and playability. Amped even features the character Chris Gunnarson and an entire level dedicated as the “ultimate dream park” called Gunny’s Gulch. Since the inception of the ESPN Winter X Games in 1997, Gunnarson has played an instrumental role as the course designer for all snow venues, including Big Air, Super Pipe, Slopestyle, and X Courses (Boarder Cross, Skier Cross, Freestyle Moto Cross and Snow Cross).
To maintain his relationship with cutting-edge and high profile events, Booth Creek has encouraged Gunnarson to continue to serve as an independent consultant on various projects.
In addition to Snow Park Technologies and his independent consulting, Gunnarson was director of snowboarding at Snow Summit Mountain Resort, in Big Bear Lake, Calif. During his 10 years at Snow Summit, Gunnarson was the key innovator for the creation and development of all snowboard-related marketing efforts including advertising, special events and industry relations, in addition to the resorts operational development of freestyle parks and pipes. His efforts generated world-wide recognition for Snow Summit, a recognized resort leader that caters to the youth and snowboard markets.
In 1999, due to his contribution to Snow Summit, Gunnarson was awarded a SAMMY Future Leadership Award, an honor presented by Ski Area Management magazine that recognizes individuals whose strong, innovative leadership demonstrated at mid-career shows exciting promise for even more accomplishments and leadership in the future.
Booth Creek owns and operates seven resorts across the United States including: Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Big Bear Mountain in California; Waterville Valley, Cranmore Mountain Resort and Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; and The Summit at Snoqualmie near Seattle, Wash. Booth Creek also serves as the management company for Telluride Ski and Golf Company in Southern Colorado. Booth Creek is the fourth largest ski resort operator in the country.