Industry Profile: Breckenridge Brand Marketing Coordinator Darren Riethmiller
17 Jul, 2012
Job Title: Brand Marketing Coordinator
Employer: Breckenridge Ski Resort
Years on snow: 17
Days on snow: 100+
Currently Riding: Burton Process 155, Burton EST Missions, Vans Revere Boa, Analog.
Currently I am: Getting packed to shred Hood for a couple of weeks
Shay: Tell us a little bit about yourself
Darren: I’ve been living and shredding Breck since ’07, but from a small ski town, Ellicottville, NY. Lover of chicken wings, Buffalo Bills, Sabres, photography, and there’s a good chance you’ll see me lapping 5 Chair in the winter.
Shay: How has skiing/snowboarding changed your life?
Darren: I’m not sure if snowboarding has changed my life, but my life has always revolved around snowboarding. The idea of working anywhere but in a ski town or in the mountains is pretty frightening to me. Then again I’ve always lived or worked in a ski town for as long as I can remember. If anything, snowboarding helped me realize there is more to life than getting your degree and chugging along at the 9-5 hoping something better will come your way.
Shay: How did you get your start in the industry, who or what opened up more opportunities for you?
Darren: I started off as a lifty for my uncle right out of high school, but soon realized terrain parks/action sports is where I wanted to be. Even working for a newspaper as a sports editor I kept my job in terrain parks. I knew that’s where I wanted to be. A road trip from WNY to Tahoe back in ’07 with two of my closest friends really opened the door and was the push I needed to explore life outside of WNY. A few months after that trip I accepted a job with Breck in terrain parks and after four and a half years of parks I saw an opportunity in Marketing and felt I had something to bring the table. And here we are.
Shay: How has your previous education or work experience helped you in your current job?
Darren: I went to college for history and journalism, but when the resort becomes your home, you can get a good idea of what works and what doesn’t.
Shay: Tell us about your role as at Breckenridge and a description of the work you do?
Darren: It’s tough to describe a specific role at Breck with me, but in Marketing I have my hand in pretty much everything. While my passion is with terrain parks/core, I’m also working with ski school, food and beverage, and local/core media. Some days I’m out getting photos or shooting b-roll while also working on the social aspect of Breck Parks.
Shay: If you had to make up a job title that most accurately described what you REALLY do, what would it be?
Darren: Jack of all trades.
Shay: Describe the craziest day/moment you’ve had at your job?
Darren: Everyday is something new, but literally hand digging out the pipe for our Rockstar Throwback Throwdown in April with the park crew and some team riders was a blast. It certainly brought something more to the table than it just being a contest with nostalgia behind it – being out there with a shovel till 10 at night trying to remake the 7′ walls I saw Terje and Craig boosting out of growing up was certainly humbling.
Shay: What are some memorable experiences from working in the industry?
Darren: It sounds pretty cliche, but the friendships I’ve made is what stands out. When the season ends, mostly everyone goes their separate ways and that’s that. But you know they’ll be back come November and it’s like nothing has changed.
Shay: What do you think are the biggest challenges that the action sports industry faces and what changes would you like to see for the future?
Darren: Keeping the stoke alive. The reason why we all got into this in the first place can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. If you can’t remember why you got into the biz, take an hour or two for some soul shredding and I’m sure it’ll come back to you.
Shay: What advice would you give to people wanting to work in the industry?
Darren: You can’t be picky with how you get into the industry. If someone gives you an opportunity regardless how small the title is, take it. It’s all about getting your foot in the door and once you’re there it’s up to you to make the best out of it. Don’t forget how you got there and why you’re there in the first place.
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