Since 1998, Deer Valley has been ranked as one of the top three ski resorts in North American by Ski Magazine, and many of those years as number one. An impressive accolade to be sure. Just as impressive as their ranking, is the effort and attention to detail staff at the resort go through to make sure each day spent on the mountain is a day worth remembering.
Call it the “Deer Valley Difference,” because they do. If you’ve ever skied at the resort you know exactly what they mean. It’s the feeling of a five-star luxury hotel on a ski hill. It’s a laser-like dedication to a vision on customer service. It’s treating each guest as an individual.
“The Deer Valley difference is about focusing on details. It’s about making sure lift lines are either very small or nonexistent to making sure each guest is treated as an individual at Deer Valley,” said Emily Summers, senior communications manager at Deer Valley.
When Edgar and Polly Stern dreamed up Deer Valley in 1981 they instilled in all the staff from ticket takers, to ski instructors to all the way to general management from day one that customer service was going to be what made Deer Valley a destination.
For staff at the resort that dedication to customer service has been about building relationships with guests so they have a great time at the resort.
“We have had ski instructors who have taught here for all 36 seasons and have clients who have come back every year to ski with them. It’s like coming to visit another member of the family,” said Summers.
Not only has the Deer Valley Difference made the resort a special place for guests, but also for those that work there too, both the seasonal and year-round employees.
Megan Wagner, recruiting coordinator at Deer Valley is not alone when she says she loves her job. In fact, she says the resort retains about 60 percent of their over 2,600 staff members year over year. Remember that instructor that has been at the resort since it opened?
“Bob Wheaton, president and general manager, strives to have all staff members to have a commitment to excellence… Each day you walk through Deer Valley you can see that commitment and feel how great it is to be here as a guest or a staff member,” said Wagner.
There is a sense of community and family in the Deer Valley culture, says Wagner. “It’s what makes the culture so strong.” She said in the time that she has been working for the resort she feels like she’s been able to get to know fellow employees and guests on “more than a business level.”
And it’s not just Wagner that feels this way. All staff are taught to care for one another and the guests. This level of caring has created a work environment that Wagner says is second to none.
The ski industry has taken notice of Deer Valley. Over the past four years Deer Valley has been ranked number one in the United States by the World Ski Awards.
“We are really proud of this award, because it is voted on by our peers,” said Summers.
When it comes down to it, the staff at the resort aren’t giving their best effort because they hope to win awards, rather they do it because they love what they do. Deer Valley exists to serve their guests, to give them the best luxury experience possible, and to create lasting relationships.
The awards… they're just extras.