Three Eagle County Vail Resorts Employees to Receive the Company’s 2015 Epic Service Award

13 May 2015
Vail Resorts announced today three Eagle County-based employees who will be awarded with the 2015 Epic Service Award.
Vail Resorts announced today three Eagle County-based employees who will be awarded with the 2015 Epic Service Award. The Epic Service Award program was created to reflect Vail Resorts’ culture of excellent guest service through employee recognition across all divisions and locations.
The award is the highest level of recognition for guest service at Vail Resorts and it is earned and awarded to employees who exceed expectations, have innovative guest service ideas, and embody the company’s service mantra, “Own it. Personalize it. Elevate it.” Each of the three Eagle County award winners has a personal story that demonstrates the ways in which he or she went above and beyond to provide an exceptional experience or service for a guest.
“Each of these employees had a choice about how to handle a situation, and could have taken an easier route. Instead, through simple acts or more involved commitments, each of them chose to elevate the experience and do the right thing for our guests,” said Chris Jarnot, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Vail Mountain. “I hope their stories inspire all of us to put ourselves in others’ shoes and take the extra step to improve the experience within our community.”
For James Oefelein, who worked at the Beaver Creek Ice Rink this past winter, he is known for making every day a great day for guests and doesn’t hesitate to go the extra mile to create an experience of a lifetime. His coworkers say that his attitude is contagious and he’s always ready to have fun. No task is too big for him to take on, whether cleaning the bathrooms, breaking down equipment or helping guest with seemingly simple things – or not so simple things. One young guest this winter was able to experience ice skating in his wheelchair, all thanks to James’s kindness, support and can-do attitude.
When Kevin Stephens, a driver for Colorado Mountain Express, showed up at the airport to greet his guests, he found that one family’s bags were missing and they were clearly distressed. Instead of deciding it wasn’t his problem and moving on, Kevin instead immediately set their minds at ease. He provided them with a coupon for rental equipment, information on how to rent clothing and even went so far as to drive them to go shopping for other items that they needed. After a disastrous start to their vacation with the airline, Kevin restored the family’s faith in true guest service.
Jess Wilmers, a call center and activities desk agent in Vail, received a call from a gentleman who had checked into a hotel in Avon with his family for four days of skiing in Vail. Unfortunately, the hotel staff was not particularly helpful and did not have any trail maps for the man and his sons to review in advance of their first ski day. Rather than just directing the guest to Vail’s website or suggesting he come in early the next day to get a trail map at the mountain, Jess asked where they were staying and offered to drop off some trail maps at the hotel’s front desk on her way home from work that evening. According to the guest, “After receiving mediocre customer service throughout the day on our trip from Wisconsin, Jessica was a breath of fresh air. She is a very valuable employee who reinforced my belief that there are still people who ‘get it’ when it comes to customer service. Our experiences at Vail were fantastic. Thanks again Jessica, we will be back!” Jess demonstrated her ability to own the situation throughout the season through acts like this that have become second nature.
The three Eagle County winners have been invited to join Epic Service winners from each of the Company’s mountain resorts, retail and the hospitality and real estate divisions for three-days of events and activities in Vail in mid-June. The group will enjoy whitewater rafting; dinner with Vail Resorts executives; a three-night stay at The Lodge at Vail, a RockResort; and much more.
About Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN)
Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading mountain resort operator in the United States. The Company's subsidiaries operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City and Canyons in Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company's subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is and consumer website is


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