Fortune Friday

Posted on March 8, 2024.

Hi everyone, and happy Fortune Friday! 

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind, and it's so awesome that Mother Nature has decided to play ball with us this winter. We received 71 inches of snow in February, with the most recent storm dropping 57 additional inches between last Friday through Monday. To put that into perspective, only 66 inches of snow fell from October through January this season. The recent snow has really improved the conditions, bringing some of the best days of the year. Not to mention, it sets us up nicely for the rest of the season and should provide us with a solid base for the Heavenly spring skiing we all know and love here. 

But seriously, that was quite a storm! When we saw all of the forecasts, we knew it had the potential to be a big one, and it delivered. Whenever a storm of that magnitude comes through, we face challenges presented by strong wind gusts, rime ice, road conditions, heavy accumulation, and more. The skiing and riding was (and remains) incredible, and it was so great to see and hear the excitement around the mountain. 

Opening each day during this storm was no easy task and took an incredible team effort. I am so grateful for the team at Heavenly – from Lift Operations & Maintenance digging out lifts, to Patrol safely opening the mountain, to Base Area Operations clearing parking lots and shoveling lodges, to F&B making sure we were ready to feed everyone, every single department plays a role in getting the mountain open and ready for everyone to enjoy.  The commitment and passion of our employees is inspiring, and I am so proud to be a part of it all. Be sure to give the team some love when you see them on the mountain, they deserve it now and always! 

At the tail end of the storm, we were able to host our 2nd annual Toyota Air and Après event. It’s always so cool to see the athletes doing what they do best on a massive jump that we built at the bottom of World Cup. It was also the start of an exciting spring event season ahead. Oakley Week started yesterday and the infamous Gunbarrel 25 is scheduled for March 23. Don’t forget about Pond Skim, which will take place in April. Plus, Community Race League is back on Friday nights under the lights on World Cup. Be sure to sign up here if you are interested! We have Giant Slalom and Slalom options, and the energy is always so great. 

Finally, our Team Member Q&A this week features Kevin Higgins, Heavenly’s Director of Lift Maintenance. Lift Maintenance is the team that ensures all lifts around the resort operate safely – and when the Gondola needed repairs earlier this season, Kevin was an integral part of diagnosing the problem and making the repairs. We are lucky to have him! 

See you on the slopes, 


Kevin Higgins Director Lift Maintenance

Team Member Spotlight/Q&A: Kevin Higgins 

Q: Hi Kevin! Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Heavenly, and how long you’ve been here?  

A: Hi everyone, I am the Director of Lift Maintenance here at Heavenly. This means I oversee the mechanical and electrical repairs and maintenance of all our lifts. I have been here for 34 years! 

Q: What inspired your career path in Lift Maintenance, and how did you get into the industry?  

A: Like a lot of people, I first got into the industry just to become a ski bum for a year. I had a machinery operating background at the time, and quickly became interested in chair lifts.  

Q: What are some of your responsibilities as the Director of Lift Maintenance?

A: I don’t turn a lot of wrenches anymore. Now, I run the business side of lift maintenance. This involves budgeting, scheduling, project planning, and working with authorities with jurisdiction including the State of California and USFS.  

Q: What do you love most about your job? And about Heavenly?  

A: I love the balance of supporting the team to achieve resort/company goals. When I look back, Heavenly is a huge part of my life. I met my wife on the hill! My two kids learned to ski at Heavenly, and now I am lucky enough to watch two grandchildren learn to ski here. It is a special place to me. 

Q: How has your passion for Lift Maintenance evolved over the years? 

A: In 2011 my family went through a very difficult time, and I came out of it determined to contribute and leave a mark on my profession.  

Q: What unique or special skills are needed to do your job?  

A: The ability to adjust and re-prioritize are critical skills in Lift Maintenance. It is a constantly changing environment with technical issues and weather that doesn’t always cooperate.

Q: What or who inspires you most?  

A: My biggest inspiration is my youngest son. He nearly lost his life, and that experience has impacted my outlook on life and work. 

Q: Do you have a favorite lift at Heavenly?  

Sky Express! It was the first lift that I helped build as a part of the construction team.