We asked Assistant General Manager, Zack Colman, to share his insights following his first year at the Lodge. We hope you enjoy his perspective as much as we’ve enjoyed learning from and working with Zack. We couldn’t ask for a better addition to the team.
It’s been nearly one full year since I started here at Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge (GMD). I would like to take a moment and reflect on some of the highlights of this past year. I want to thank everyone at the GMD, specifically Ross and Jenn, for the opportunity and the overall sense of community that I have come to love about our culture.
I jumped into my position here at the lodge straight off “the boat”. I had been working full time as a whitewater raft guide, no cell reception, no emails and definitely no computer, for months at a time, which had been the routine for me for some nine years. I was fortunate enough to start at the GMD in September, giving me a couple of months to get my bearings before the guests (and employees) flooded in. From the word go, I began learning from the experts like Ross, Jenn, Trainer, Liz and David (there’s more, trust me) about the lodge, my position here, and where I could best serve as the Operations Manager. It was an exciting time at the lodge, with the ever-present buzz of the upcoming season growing with every passing sunset.
The snow started to fly, the parking lot filled with the die-hard skiers out to get the first runs in on the mere dustings that were sticking to Corkscrew, and we were preparing for the annual community Open House Party. This season kick-off event was spectacular, and as quickly as it came and went, it was a chance for me to see this place in action and what we are all capable of accomplishing.
Soon after came opening day, and we were off to the races. The Café was in full swing, the Saloon was pouring pints and pumping out our famous pies, and the Top of the Lodge Dining Room was serving outstanding four-course meals paired with an extensive and worldly wine menu.Three levels of operation, coupled with a ski lodge growing to full capacity by the end of December; it was a lot to get my head around. Let’s just say there was plenty of work, and it was my opportunity to step up to the plate.
The Holidays are always important for ski tourism, and the past season at Alta didn’t disappoint. We were handed a gift from Mother Nature and the guests and employees enjoyed the multitudes of “the greatest snow on earth”. Guests were satisfied, employees were working hard (in between powder runs), and all was good for me. I mean I got to ski Alta on my lunch breaks!
I felt lucky, I mean I FEEL lucky, to be where I am. I came out of the Holiday season with a profound sense of gratitude towards this position and the culture here at Goldminer’s. There were challenges, and dare I admit a learning curve, but once we hit the middle of January I was in full stride here at the lodge and I felt capable of making this place the best it can be. It was great to see all the employees with the same capability, and our guests were at the receiving end of this efficient and determined work ethic.
Spring came upon us in February, and the break in snow storms gave me a chance to learn what it takes to keep a staff of almost ninety employees motivated when things get slow. Opportunities for them to devote themselves to our service culture were identified, rewarded, incentivized. With the help of my colleague Charlie, whom I’m also very grateful for, we rolled out a token program to do just that. It kept the employees excited about being here at the lodge working through the rest of the season and gave them a chance to make their efforts pay off.
Spring Break, much like the Holiday season, is also well known for being busy in the ski industry. Here at the GMD, I saw this in action. I was jumping at work in all different departments, helping out where I could, and we had employees doing the same. It was amazing to see employees pitching in and putting forth extra effort to help the lodge run smoothly until the end. March was a busy month for us, and I look forward to many Marches in the future.
My first season was quite a ride at the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge. I was challenged from the first day to do something that I had worked so hard my entire life to do: create a position for myself in a business that I love, and continue to evolve as a manager, employee, friend and human being to bring my best self. I look forward to doing it all again and again! I want to thank everyone that visits the Goldminer’s Daughter Lodge. It’s you that makes this all possible, and I will forever be grateful for your business.