SOURCE: Bear Valley Mountain

November 19, 2008 11:00 ET

Bear Valley Mountain Recruits Ski Industry Pioneer and Former Professional Freestyle Skier Jon Mahanna

New Director of Mountain Operations Focuses on Enhancing Terrain Quality and Expanding Parks Through Improved Snowmaking Ability, Providing Backcountry Access and $100,000 Investment in Terrain Parks

BEAR VALLEY, CA--(Marketwire - November 19, 2008) - Bear Valley Mountain, the Central Sierra's premier family skiing and snowboarding location, announced today that freestyle skiing pioneer and industry veteran Jon Mahanna has been named director of mountain operations. In his new position, Mahanna will oversee construction of the new $100,000 terrain park, lift maintenance and operations, ski patrol, snowmaking, slope grooming, vehicle maintenance, parking and transportation. He joins a highly respected management team led by CEO Martin Wegenstein.

Among Mahanna's immediate responsibilities is directing construction of Bear Valley's new terrain park, which is being invigorated with a $100,000 investment. Although the final design is still in process, Mahanna says the park layout will provide ample opportunity and challenge for all levels of skiers and boarders. He will also oversee operations for 10 new state-of-the-art SMI snowmaking guns that can help the snowmaking system convert 2,000 gallons of water per minute into enough snow to cover up to 100 acres, and for the new snowcat tours program -- a 14-passenger snowcat shuttle that will provide access to untouched backcountry terrain.

Mahanna began his professional ski career at age 14 as an instructor at a New England resort. A freestyle skiing pioneer, he was one of the first professionals to compete on the freestyle skiing circuit as a member of the International Freestyle Skiers Association (IFSA) and one of the world's first skiers to perform aerial acrobatics. Before coming to Bear Valley, Mahanna was president and general manager of Angel Fire Resort, a New Mexico ski and golf destination, where he helped supervise the development of terrain parks that grew ridership by 38 percent and attracted the USASA Snowboard Nationals. Prior to that he was general manager at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort, where he gained special insight into the unique opportunities the Central Sierras provide. Mahanna holds positions with the United States Ski Association and is a certified member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America. As industry leader, he won the industry's prestigious "Sammy" award in 2005 -- awarded to individuals whose strong innovative leadership shows exciting promise for even more accomplishments and leadership in the future.

"Bear Valley is a sleeping giant. We are in the midst of major terrain and lodge improvements, and we're building a terrain park that will be very competitive in the region," said Mahanna. "All of our improvements are going to make Bear Valley Mountain the premier destination for skiing and snowboarding in the Central Sierras."

"Like all members of our leadership team, Jon is a skier first and an executive second," said Bear Valley CEO Wegenstein. "His passion for the sport combined with his professional experience brings a unique perspective as we strive to deliver a world-class resort experience for skiers, boarders, and their families."

About Bear Valley Mountain

Conveniently located on scenic Highway 4 in the Central Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, Bear Valley Mountain is the premier year-round family destination. The area boasts 1,280 acres of varied terrain; more than 67 runs, including four terrain parks; 1900 vertical feet and 30 feet of average annual snowfall. More information is available at www.bearvalley.com.