Industry Profile: Mountain Creek Marketing & Sales Manager Hugh Reynolds

16 Sep, 2010

Job Title: Marketing & Sales Manager
Employer: Mountain Creek Resort, NJ
Years on snow: 12
Days on snow: 100
Currently Riding: Rome Artifact 156 – Drake Czar Bindings (Old but still my favorite) – K2 Darko Boots (Best Boots Ever! Period.)
Currently I am: Going crazy… want to come? No, right now we’re going full speed at getting ready for the upcoming season. We’re working on launching our new websites, kicking off our Season Pass and Triple Play card sale campaign, setting our advertising plans and our event calendar, staffing up and generally getting stoked for winter!

Photo:  Halley O’Brien

Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hugh: I am a snowboarder and a lifelong NJ native.

Shay: How has snowboarding changed your life?
Hugh: I had skied growing up but I didn’t come from a skiing family and if I went 4 or 5 times a year that was a good season for me. When I switched over to snowboarding something in me just connected with it. I immediately knew that this was going to be my thing. I just couldn’t get enough of it and I couldn’t wait for that next chance to ride.

Since then so many of my life decisions have been dictated by looking for that “next chance to ride”. From the friends that I’ve made, to the places that I’ve gone, and the career that I’ve chosen. Snowboarding has helped shape my life in so many ways. It’s my therapy and my release. It’s my favorite thing to do and the one thing I can never get enough of. My wife jokes that if we had met and started dating in the winter we probably would have never made it to our second date (especially if there was a storm hitting that weekend)… Luckily for me we met in the summer.

Photo:  Halley O’Brien

Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Hugh: Living in New Jersey, I have to say that getting my start in the industry hasn’t been easy. I tried for a number of years to backdoor my way into the industry while still holding down a regular corporate job. The more I got involved in working within the industry, the more I realized I had to find a way to make this my career. Ultimately I had to just jump off the cliff and chase the dream. I quit my corporate job and took an entry level, seasonal position at the resort to just get my foot in the door. I knew that if I could get myself behind the curtain, my passion and my drive to be part of this world would take me where I wanted to go. A little luck and some good timing certainly helped too.

Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Hugh: I truly am a believer that everything happens for a reason. Everything that I have done both personally and professionally has prepared me for the job I’m doing now. Each step along the way has been a learning opportunity and those experiences have given me the tools I need to be successful in my current position.

Photo:  Halley O’Brien

Shay: Tell us about your role at Mountain Creek and a description of the work you do?
Hugh: In my role at Mountain Creek I am responsible for overseeing the daily operations of our sales & marketing department. It’s my job to make sure that our strategies in terms of products, pricing, promotions, public relations, sponsorships, advertising, sales and events are being met. I work with our staff, other departments, outside partners and sponsors do this. Basically that’s just a really fancy way of saying I try to get people to come ski and snowboard at Mountain Creek. That’s what I really do, I sell fun and snowboarding is FUN!

Shay: What’s an average day like at work for you?
Hugh: One of the things that is so exciting and fun about working at a resort is that there is no such thing as an average day. In season, on any given day I can be… sitting in a meeting planning a new promotion idea, or talking about the design of our terrain parks, or working with a film crew on a video or photo shoot, or working with an event partner on planning a new event, or talking with one of the magazines about a new feature opportunity or ad. The one constant in my days is also the best part of the job, “product testing”. I get to snowboard every day, and that’s why I do what I do.

Photo:  Halley O’Brien

Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Hugh: I’ve had some really great experiences over the years. I started up a small clothing company with some friends after college and the excitement we felt when we sold our first product was pretty awesome. Going to my first US Open as an “insider” a few years ago and getting to meet all my favorite riders was pretty sick. But I think the maybe my most memorable experience to date happened this spring when I got to take a 2 week bench marking tour of all the top terrain parks out west. 10 riding days, 5 legit powder days and 7 of the top 10 terrain parks… That’s a snowboarding trip that will be pretty tough to beat.

Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the snowboard industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Hugh: It’s certainly an interesting time for snowboarding both as a sport and as a lifestyle. The popularity of snowboarding and the media attention given to it has increased dramatically in the last 10 years. For the most part I think this is great and positive for the sport, but you have to ask, how big can it get before the bottom drops out and the general public loses interest and moves on to the next “in” thing, like underwater pogo stick gymnastics. I think snowboarding as a whole has to remember why we all got into it in the first place. Snowboarding is fun. As long as having fun is at the heart of everything we do, I think snowboarding will always be in a good place no matter what.

Specific to the Resort Industry, one of the biggest challenges we are facing is that of a declining amount of new entrants into our sports. On average only about 5-6% of the general population participate in skiing or snowboarding. As families continue to have fewer children and the landscape of youth sports continues to become more populated, and the demands on kids’ time and attention from these sports continues to increase, this percentage will decrease, especially as the baby boomers drop out of our sports. This is where keeping the focus on fun is so important. Most kids will never land a triple cork 1080 or double back flip, our focus needs to be less on the spectacle and more on fostering the fun, social experiences that encourage life-long participation in our sports.

Photo:  Halley O’Brien

Shay: Education vs Experience…which do you think is more important?
Hugh: I think ideally you need to have a good balance of both, but push comes to shove… I’ll take experience over education. There are certain things you just have to learn by doing.

Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Hugh: If you want to work at a resort because you want to snowboard all the time and think it will be an easy job, you’re going to be terribly disappointed. Working in marketing for a ski resort is just like working in marketing for any other business, it’s a “real” job with all the normal stresses and responsibilities that come along with it. Only in this job, there are no holidays and no weekends. When everyone else in the world is off, is exactly when you’ll be at your busiest. The trade off for all of that is that you can call the mountains your office, snowboarding will now become a job requirement for you and you’ll always be guaranteed to get first tracks. Not a bad deal.

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About the author


From the beginning of time, I was Shannon. From the beginning of snowboarding, I was Shay. From the beginning of online communities, I was Shayboarder. In the end, I’m the writer, photographer, editor, publisher, guru of sorts, product tester, curvy girl, and most importantly the snowboarder behind it all. Follow me on this journey through snowboarding, mountain biking, traveling and fun experiences!

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  1. September 16, 2010

    I totally dig this line:

    “This is where keeping the focus on fun is so important. Most kids will never land a triple cork 1080 or double back flip, our focus needs to be less on the spectacle and more on fostering the fun, social experiences that encourage life-long participation in our sports.” -Hugh Reynolds

  2. September 17, 2010

    Killin’ it Hugh!