Local Boy Makes Good / Chris Jarnot: Chris Jarnot thinks he might have the best job in the world, and he found it in the same valley where he grew up. As the COO of Vail Mountain, Jarnot now leads the resort he once explored as a kid, the place where he started his career as an intern in the marketing department, the mountain his own children now explore. His demeanor is calm and thoughtful, but there’s fire and passion lurking below, especially when he’s directing Vail’s mission to be the best it can be. His devotion led Vail, despite coming off one of its worst snow years ever, to install the state-of-the-art Gondola One in the Vail Village for this 50th anniversary season, paying homage to the original gondola on the same site. When Vail hosted a Pioneers Weekend this past fall, welcoming back the individuals who were involved in its formative years, even the usually stoic Jarnot was touched by the praise he heard from his predecessors for the mountain and the village. “The people who were here in the beginning are really, really proud of what Vail’s become,” he says.
Copyright: Julia Vandenoever