Vail Resorts

Improving the internal experience for world-renowned mountain resort conglomerate

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Project Summary

Vail Resorts is a world-renowned mountain resort company with a slew of the biggest and best resorts to their name. Chances are if you’ve gone skiing or snowboarding, you’ve probably set foot on at least one (or several) of their mountains. Currently, their repertoire includes four mountains in Colorado, three in Lake Tahoe, two in Utah, one in Minnesota, one in Michigan, and even a summer resort in Wyoming. As if that weren’t enough, they also own several luxury resort hotels around the world.

The Human Resources team at Vail was interested in taking a deeper look at their employee experience, seeking an in-depth look at what it’s really like to work for Vail Resorts. They brought Universal Mind on board to get on the ground to answer this question. Universal Mind’s strategy team had the painstaking task of visiting all of Vail’s incredible resorts for a little hands-on “contextual inquiry” (let me tell you just how bad we felt for sending them to all the resorts). These findings were consolidated into research themes, a series of employee personas, and an Employee Messaging Matrix designed to help Vail Resorts extend their understanding of their employees. A strategic objective, based on an employee first mindset was created, resulting in new processes and an employee-focused roadmap to achieve this objective. The ultimate long-term goal is to demonstrate growth with regard to making the employee experience central to all organizational decision-making. We continue to work with Vail on Strategic initiatives, and maybe, we can carve out some time to do more on-site research next ski season.

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