Whaleback Names Gerd Riess New Mountain Manager
General Manager Dick Harris has retired after two seasons.
Monday, June 1, 2015,

Following a difficult 2014-15 season, Whaleback Mountain ski area has a new manager. Gerd Riess, a race coach and former ski school director at Whaleback, has assumed the role of Mountain Manager at the non-profit ski area. Outside of the ski business, Riess, 63, has owned his own tree nursery.

Former General Manager Dick Harris has retired due to health issues. Harris, formerly a manager at the Balsams and Alyeska ski areas, was recruited out of retirement for the Whaleback reopening in 2013.

The non-profit owner of the ski area, Upper Valley Snow Sports Foundation, is currently working to raise $50,000 in donations by the end of June to take advantage of $100,000 in matching funds.

Under capitalized and dealing with deferred maintenance, Whaleback has struggled with starting each of its two seasons under UVSSF. In 2013, the area was forced to rebuild its kitchen and septic in order to open. Missing the cold snowmaking window in November of 2014, the area was unable to open until January 13 for the 2014-15 ski season.

According to the Whaleback press release, the UVSSF and Riess plan to focus on improving snowmaking capabilities and standardizing the operating schedule for the 2015-16 season.

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