Longtime Steamboat Resort lift supervisor earns top honor at regional conference
Mike Aljanich, senior lift supervisor for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp., was recognized as Lift Operations Person of the Year at the Rocky Mountain Lift Association’s annual conference, which took place earlier this month in Grand Junction.
“I’m just so proud,” said Deb Werner, lift operations director. “I’ve worked with Mike for 30 years, and he has just been a great employee that whole time. He is a detail guy, and he just always does so much to help our department.”
Aljanich has worked for the resort for over 30 years and Werner said he has helped shape the lift department in that time. In his role with the resort he has long been known for his active participation in developing operating plans, championing special projects, emphasizing safety across the department, teaching training techniques to new supervisors and helping the Steamboat Resort teams achieve a high level of guest service.
“It’s a huge honor for the industry,” Aljanich said. “It’s super exciting, and I’m super proud of it.”
Aljanich was honored during the Rocky Mountain Lift Association’s 50th anniversary, which was held May 2-5. The conference and trade show drew a record-breaking 602 attendees — including 504 individuals from 76 ski areas, associations and affiliates and another 98 from supplier companies. It was the first in-person conference since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aljanich moved to Steamboat Springs during his freshman year of high school. His mother, Pat, and sister Aimee (Aljanich) Sumner still live in town. Aljanich said his brother Matt is coming back to town with his wife and two kids to spend the summer in Steamboat.
Aljanich said he enjoys his job because he gets to work outside and on most days he shows up at 6 a.m. to get things rolling. Some days the job includes shoveling, and everyday includes safety checks. He said working with the lift operators has helped him stay young.
“Every year I get a little older, and they stay the same age for the most part — if you know what I mean,” said Aljanich. “So that keeps me young, and I still know a lot of kids that have worked for me 30 years ago and now they have families and they’re all over the world in places like Nepal, Australia, South Africa and England. It’s a really awesome way to meet people.”
Werner said that employees like Aljanich make working at Steamboat Resort special. He respects his work, and the positive attitude he brings every day.
“I think his years of experience, and just his dedication to the job have set him apart,” Werner said. “He enjoys life, and has a lot of fun. He works really hard, but he also has fun with work, and I think those two things are not often common to find together.”
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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