NORTH POWDER, Ore. - The Anthony Lakes Ski Area Board of Directors has announced that Peter Johnson was hired as the new general manager, continuing the transition of the northeast Oregon ski area from a for profit corporation to a non-profit operation.
Johnson will take over the general management duties on June 1. Interim manager Rick Pignone managed to area during the busy 2010-2011 ski season. Johnson, currently lives in Madras, Ore.
"We were really pleased at the tremendous interest we had from the ski industry when we started our search," said John Wilson, chairman of the board. "We received applications from over 30 qualified candidates from all over the West, out of which we narrowed down and interviewed 10."
Wilson said there were several very strong candidates. "We felt Peter brought something extra with his energy, broad knowledge of the industry and love of this area. That made him the guy for the job. The board can't wait to start the next season under his direction."
Johnson was raised in Madras and grew up working summers in either agriculture or at the local lumber mill. He started Nordic skiing with his family at the age of three and first learned to downhill ski at the age of nine using Nordic skis at the rope tow at Summit Ski Area on Mount Hood, near Portland.
He first came to know Anthony Lakes Ski Area when skiing with his family at age 10.
"I have been skiing out here since I was a kid," Johnson said. "I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with everyone in the community to make sure Anthony Lakes reaches its full potential."
He said he has returned year after year because of the friendly and welcoming atmosphere he has experienced at the ski area.
Johnson is a fully certified member of the Association of Professional Patrollers, has a Level II certificate with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education and has been a licensed EMT since 2004. He started his career in the ski industry as a volunteer national ski patroller at Mount Bachelor Ski Area in Bend. After graduating from the University of Oregon, he worked year-round as a professional ski patroller at Mount Bachelor during the winter and in operations during the summer.
After three years of full-time work at Mount Bachelor, Johnson took a position with Doppelmayr USA, headquartered in Salt Lake City, constructing ski lifts in the summer while patrolling in the winter. Since 2005, he has worked at over 25 ski areas across the nation. He has been involved in both managing ski lift construction and in the expansion of ski area operations. Johnson has more than 10 years of patrol experience and six years working in ski lift construction.
Johnson says he has spent more and more time at Anthony Lakes over the last five years, enjoying the mountains and the community the Baker City region has to offer. Part of what made this position so attractive for him was the positive interactions he has experienced with the local residents through the years, he said.
One immediate task for the new manager is developing a program for students on Fridays with the Baker School District. The district changes to a four-day week this fall, leaving Fridays open for students to participate in ‘Ski For the Health of it,' a program designed to give students an opportunity to learn the fun and health benefits of skiing.
Trish Brinton, Anthony Lakes operations manager, suggests families and all skiers who have not yet purchased their 2011-2012 Season Passes might want to take advantage of the Spring Season Pass sale before it ends May 31.
Contact Brinton at 541-856-3277, extension 16, or get passes online atanthonylakes.com.
Season passes can also be purchased in person at Flagstaff Sports or Kicks Sportswear in Baker City or at Blue Mountain Sports in La Grande.
In October 2010, the previous owners of the resort gifted the operation to Baker County. Baker County formed the Baker County Development Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, to operate the resort. Watch website anthonylakes.com for news updates or visit them on Twitter and Facebook.