Get to Know Rob Perlman
By Dan Greeson
Discussions in Hokaido, Japan, with Kimihito Kamori, who owned the Steamboat Ski Area from 1989 to 1997 resulted in a reciprocal agreement between Steamboat and Rusutso, one of seven ski resorts in the Kamori International portfolio. Steamboat season passholders receive up to seven days of skiing/riding at Rusutsu when they book lodging at a Kamori-owned property. Rusutsu passholders receive similar benefits at Steamboat.
“It’s a natural fit to join an alliance with them,” Rob says. ““Japan is the skiing hub of Asia.”
On the same trip, Rob met with representatives from Russia, Korea and China. “We called it the global ski summit,” he quips. He foresees the possibility of similar alliances with resorts in those countries.
The lack of jetlag on the journey was a pleasant surprise to Rob, who took the daily direct flight from Denver to Tokyo for the meeting. The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has large windows that can be adjusted individually to allow varying amounts of sunlight. An advanced air filter system and increased oxygen flow are designed to reduce jetlag.
Air service is one of Rob’s priorities, and the 2015/16 schedule includes 10% more seats than last winter. This year’s service comprises an increased number of direct flights from Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Newark, Seattle and Washington Dulles plus nonstop service from Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Houston and San Francisco.
Other aspects of Rob’s new job have been eye opening. Managing an organization that has 2,000 employees during its peak season has been an education in human resources, he says, and the legal aspects of running the resort have been time-consuming as well.
Growing up in Evergreen, Rob was an alpine racer in Winter Park, where he later worked as vice president of sales and marketing. He’s still an ardent skier/snowboarder/telemarker who counts down the days in fall until the ski area opens. He doesn’t get out as much as he’d like, but he has his favorite runs, including the Closets, Shadows and the Chutes.
“The Chutes are steep, but they’re short,” he says, eyeing potential expansion into the Pioneer Ridge area, which would provide additional expert terrain. Although that project is identified in the ski area’s master plan, there are no short-term plans to begin it.
In the near future, Rob says Ski Corp. will seek innovative ways to fine-tune its stature as one of the best ski resorts in North America. “We want to stay true to our brand: Western hospitality, a long Olympic tradition and great guest service,” he says.
“I’ve known Rob for several years as a key player in the ski and tourism industry,” says Jim Clark, CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association. “He’s a champion for providing our guests with outstanding service. He was a strong leader as the president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA and as chair of the Colorado Tourism Office board of directors. We’re fortunate to have him as president of the Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation.”
The feeling is mutual: “I love Steamboat,” Rob says. “I’m at the place where I want to be.”