Longtime fixture at Heavenly is leaving
After 28 years of helping keep Heavenly Ski Resort a safe place to ski, Jimmy Lawrence is leaving.
“It’s sad to leave since this has been my life and home for 28 years,” Lawrence said. “It’s been the most fulfilling experience I’ll ever have in my life. I’ve met so many great friends at both Heavenly and in the community. There truly is a family feeling here.”
Lawrence has been the director of risk management at Heavenly, but recently was offered a position with a national insurance company, Willis of New Hampshire. He will be the vice president of loss control where he will head up a program insuring and implementing safety and loss control programs for ski areas.
“It was a tough decision for me to make, but it is a good opportunity professionally,” Lawrence said. “Still, it’s bittersweet. At least I’m not leaving the ski industry though, and I will still deal with resorts around here.”
Like most die-hard skiers, Lawrence only intended to live in Tahoe for a winter. He got a job at Heavenly as a ski patroller and never left.
“I’ve never lived on the East Coast, so this is a big adventure for my wife and me,” Lawrence said. “We’re very excited.”
Reflecting on his time at Heavenly, Lawrence remembered how much the industry has changed. In the early ’70s it had more of a relaxed feel, he said, with only those dedicated to making turns. Today, he’s noticed how the sport is attracting all types of people, even those who ski just a few times a year.
“The biggest adaption I’ve seen is how (the area) has become a year-round vacation resort,” he said.
Although Lawrence is sad to leave, he will always consider himself fortunate to have lived in Tahoe for so many years.
“My passion is skiing,” Lawrence said. “It’s been a wonderful mix to live your passion and call it work.”
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