Interview With Gary Yates, Ski Olympic’s Resort Manager

An interview With Gary Yates, Ski Olympic’s Resort Manager.

When did your journey with Ski Olympic begin, and how has your journey with us evolved from there?

My first season was in 1998; I was hired as the head ski guide for Courchevel. After that, Bernie rented a hotel for one year only in Courchevel 1850, called the Kilimanjaro. He asked me to be the manager, and I said yes. And I have been a manager ever since really.

What does your job as Manager involve?

Mainly making sure everything is running smoothly in the chalet hotel, the bar and the restaurant. A lot of it is to do with staffing, working within different parts of the chalet hotel, working with suppliers and doing orders, and of course making sure the customers are having a good time, getting to know them and making sure we cater to their needs.

What has brought you back to Ski Olympic for so many years?

The customer service that we offer is different from many other companies. We really encourage our staff to get to know our guests, which is probably why we have such a high return rate every year. Our clients are very nice, which makes a huge difference when you are the manager. It is nice to see people year after year; you make friends. And of course, I love working for a family company. It is much better than working for a big organisation where you are just a number.

What is your favourite thing about working for Ski Olympic?

Over the last few years, I have enjoyed being a bit more involved. I love the recruitment process, it is one of my favourite parts of my job.

Skiing or snowboarding?


Is there anything new for the menu this year at La Caverne?

We will be adding some specials onto the menu on a regular basis. We will have a steak and ale pie, and a lamb hot pot, with vegetarian options available for both dishes.

What is your favourite meal and drink to enjoy at La Caverne?

I like everything, but if I had to pick one thing I would choose the chili nachos. And of course a cheeky Mutzig.

Favourite run in the Vallandry/Les Arcs area?

We used to call this run ‘the secret run’. Initially, it was a run not many people knew about, other than seasonaires. It is now an official run, and it’s called Malgavert. It’s a great run, down from the top down into 1800.

What can guests look forward to this season?

Hopefully, a normal season, after the last few years with the pandemic, with no last minute changes or world events that affect us. We want to get back to doing what we do best and making sure people have the best time they can possibly have. Obviously, in our amazing location we have the best views. And, we have a really good team of staff; I’m really happy with the team we have this year. We have some returning staff, which is amazing, and I’m excited for the new staff to get out there.

For those returning guests that visit our chalets year after year, you will see and experience some nice changes. As usual, upgrades and updates have occurred between last season and now.

Next year, we’re launching our inaugural Chalet Host and Cooking courses. What can trainees look forward to during the courses, and what will they be learning?

The thing that makes our courses different to a lot of other courses that are on offer is that our trainees will be learning in a working chalet hotel and our professional kitchen. A lot of other courses focus on main dishes, but our trainees will be cooking a real weekly menu used in our chalet during the season. And, cooking at altitude is a huge bonus to the learning experience.

But we offer more than just a cookery course - you can do bar management and chalet work, you can do ski tech. It is a more inclusive course than a lot of others.

If you are a group of friends who would like to do a course, there is a discount available. We can host a course for a private group.

Even if you are not interested in working a ski season, the courses are great for those who would like to enhance their cooking skills, and learn new menu ideas and tricks of the trade.

It is a really exciting opportunity, not only to learn, but also to enjoy what La Foret has to offer. It will be 6 days of training, but there is also free time for the trainees to enjoy. Everyone has a day off, and you can enjoy Vallandry during this time; from white water rafting to walking and exploring the area.

And, there will be an opportunity for trainees to secure their place in the Ski Olympic seasonal staff team for the coming winter season. I will be conducting interviews to give our trainees the chance to see what it is like to do an interview when you are considering a ski industry job, and real stand-out trainees may be offered a job, so you may be working in the place where you trained the following year.

Our website has everything you need to know about the courses:

Describe Ski Olympic in three words.

Fun. Family. Fantastic.

We can’t wait to welcome you to Vallandry this winter. Call our office on (+44) 01302 328820 to enquire or book your holiday with Ski Olympic online.

3 chalets in Vallandry/Les Arcs:
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