By PAULA TRACY, InDepthNH.org
NEWBURY – Mount Sunapee has a new general manager, Tracy Bartels, who has served as senior director of mountain operations at Keystone in Colorado.
Bartels will direct operations at the ski resort this winter. She was named to the role by Vail Resorts, which took over the state’s lease of the ski area from Okemo Resort owners Tim and Diane Mueller last year.
“Tracy is an incredibly experienced leader, having held roles across nearly all lines of business throughout her tenure,” said Doug Pierini, vice president and COO of Vail Resorts’ eastern region.
Vail also has also acquired Attitash and Wildcat and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire.
“The combination of Tracy’s depth of operations experience, her leadership, and her passion for mountain communities uniquely places her for success as she makes the move to Mount Sunapee,” Pierini said.
Bartels takes over from Bruce Schmidt. He took over last year for long-time general manager Jay Gamble, who worked for the Muellers.
Schmidt is returning to Okemo in Vermont, which was also picked up from the Muellers. He will serve as vice president and general manager there.
Sunapee is still owned by the state of New Hampshire but it is leased. The state continues to own and operate Cannon Mountain and as part of the lease, the money from the Sunapee lease goes to improve Cannon in Franconia Notch.
Bartels joined Vail Resorts in February 2000 as a children’s ski instructor at Breckenridge Ski Resort, which is also in Summit County, Colorado, not far from Breckenridge and Vail.
In nearly two decades with the company, she has held a variety of roles involving the ski school, food and beverage, health and safety, and mountain operations. Attempts to reach Bartels through email this week were unsuccessful.
A story in Ski Area Management quoted Bartels saying she looks forward to becoming part of the Newbury area community.
“The mountain’s unique character, mixed with the team’s passion for creating the very best guest experience is something I look forward to contributing to,” Bartels told Ski Area Management.
Vail is emerging as one of the industry’s largest owner of ski resorts and it has come quickly.
On Sept. 24, Vail closed on the acquisition of Peak Resorts – which included Crotched, Attitash and Wildcat in New Hampshire and 14 others – for a purchase price of $11.00 per share.
Based in Bloomfield, Colorado, Vail Resorts now operates 37 ski resorts worldwide.
A major portion of Peak Resorts stock was owned by the Sackler family, makers of OxyContin, which purchased the stock a year ago. Some leaders in New Hampshire were concerned that with lawsuits over its highly addictive drug, the ski resorts of Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched Mountain might be negatively impacted.
That is no longer a worry. Peak’s common stock was delisted from the Nasdaq Global Select Market in September.
Rob Katz, chairman, and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts said, “We are excited to welcome each of these ski areas into the Vail Resorts family and to continue to invest in what makes them unique.”
The Vail resorts in the Northeast outside of New Hampshire are Mount Snow, Stowe, and Okemo in Vermont and Hunter Mountain in New York.
In 2017, Vail set for itself ambitious goals toward sustainability throughout its resorts. It has pledged to reach zero net emissions and zero-waste-to-landfill by 2030. To read more about Vail’s goals visit