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Resort operations director to retire after 40 years

January 29, 2019 GMT

Chester “Chet” Powell’s career on The Big Mountain in Whitefish began in 1976 when he was hired to join the ski patrol.

On Monday, more than 40 years later, Whitefish Mountain Resort reported that Powell, 66, plans to retire at the end of the current ski season from his job as director of mountain operations.

In a news release, Dan Graves, chief executive officer of Whitefish Mountain Resort, expressed gratitude for Powell’s contributions to the resort and the community.

“To say that I will miss him doesn’t quite express my gratitude, respect and reliance on him,” Graves said. “I will miss him greatly.”

Graves said Powell’s “institutional knowledge is vast” and said the longtime employee “has played a key role in getting the resort to where it is today.”

Through the years, Powell has been involved in construction projects such as the Big Ravine and snowmaking ponds, as well as expansions of the ski area into the North Bowl, the north side and Hellroaring Basin.

“I could always count on Chet accomplishing what was needed for the resort in his good-natured way,” Graves said.

Powell, who grew up in Salt Lake City, will remain on the payroll for an unspecified period as a part-time director of special projects, the resort reported. In this role, he will oversee installation of the new alpine slides and coordinate the Hellroaring Basin project with the U.S. Forest Service.

Meanwhile, Bill Cubbage, director of snow sports at Whitefish Mountain Resort, will become the new director of mountain operations on May 1.

Cubbage joined the resort’s staff in 2009.

Mike Davies, manager of children’s programming in the snow-sports department, will replace Cubbage as director of snow sports and summer activities.

Reporter Duncan Adams may be reached at dadams@dailyinterlake.com or 758-4407.