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Alta states

he Revolution Continues: New Intrawest Boss Reveals Fortress Strategy



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And he goes on to explain: “I love Hugh. He’s brilliant. I have worked for him, with him and competed against him and the guy is unbelievable. He is shy, not into public speaking, almost a recluse in some ways.” Because of those traits, he says: “The people who have worked with him know (just how special a person he is), but very few people in the industry know of his horsepower…”

Besides, adds Brownlie, it’s not a job that Hugh wanted. “His strength isn’t the corporate side of things. Hugh is motivated by creating – taking things to the next level.”

But there is more to it than that. And in this, both Brownlie and McCarthy agree. “If you believe that the Fortress plan is to eventually take Intrawest public again, then the Jensen appointment is a great move,” says Brownlie. “Over the last five to 10 years, Vail has grown tremendously in the public market. And Jensen (who is known as a very strategic thinker) played an important role there. So it adds a lot to the perceived value to have a guy like that running the company.”

So why doesn’t Smythe just retire? I mean, it can’t feel all that great to be sitting on the sidelines while all the big decisions are being made by younger men…

Not so, says Brownlie. “Hugh still has a heck of a lot to teach us,” he says. “Our job is to suck as much information out of him while he’s still on the mountain. Sure, he’s not the ‘boss’ anymore, but his new role as mentor is just as important. I hope he decides to stick around for a while yet.”

Stay tuned. Things are bound to get very interesting in the next few months…