Mountain People Episode 13

A series of stories from Boyne Mountain's slopes

On any given day, you might see Doug in the lift line working as a ticket checker, in the Circle Drive working as a Mountain Host, or in the summertime - working on the golf course. Wherever Doug may be, he's always filled to the brim with joy - happy to be where he is. His spirit is so jovial, in fact, we secretly suspect he may be Santa Claus. Whatever the case, we're always thankful to have his joy around the Mountain on a daily basis.

"I'm from Midland, where I was a Deputy Sherriff for 26 years. I was the chief jail administrator for the Midland County Jail and I was in charge of a 100-bed facility...which is a little different than what I do now.

I always tell people - for 26 years, I was doing a job where people didn't really want to be around me, because if they were around me, they were probably in trouble. But here, I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum - I'm around people that want to be here, and are happy to be around me.

My wife and I retired in 2007 and moved up here fulltime, and I started working straight away with the Mountain Host program. My wife worked in the SnowSports Academy, and then I also worked as a lift op on Duane's days off.

Eventually, they asked me if I wanted to take over the Mountain Host program, and I gratefully accepted, so I do that, and lift ops on Thursdays and Fridays...and in the summer I work on the golf course. Our kids always say - we're always working!

Working for the Mountain is such an honor. I'm so happy to be here. It's great to work at a place that you drive five minutes to get to - where some of our guests drive 500 miles to get to. You think, wow, here we are.

In the Mountain Host program, we see people drive up the Circle Drive and unload and they say, "Wow, I've never been here before, this is awesome." So I always put myself in their shoes because I remember when we first came here from a small town with a small resort and I felt the same way...just overwhelmed at how beautiful it is here.

I feel so lucky to be here, I just want to do it as long as I can. As a Mountain Host, chances are good that we're the first impression that the guest has with the resort, and that's an important role. I feel very fortunate to work here - it's just awesome. I've built a few good relationships with the families that I see here too. I met some of these kids when they needed help up on the chairlift, and now they're skiing on their own, and you know, it just feels like family."