Employee Spotlight: Dave Little – Manager of Competition Services and EpicMix Race Operations
Dave Little rang in the New Year in Vail with some buddies his freshman year of college. Colorado mountain living lured him back after graduation and, 14 years later, the now Manager of Competition Services and EpicMix Race Operations at Breckenridge Ski Resort has his hands full with an exciting roster of events.
Meet Dave Little
- Age: 36
- Family: Little and wife have a 3-year-old daughter, Marin, who recently started skiing
- From: Yonkers, NY
- College: Hobart College in Upstate, NY; majored in American History and Education
- Years in Summit County: 14
- Ski, snowboard or both: Both. Mostly telemark.
- Average number of days on the mountain each season: 100
Little spent 11 seasons as a ski instructor and with the racing and events department at Copper Mountain, followed by some time as the operations lead for Grand Prix and World Cup ski races before starting with Breck in 2010.
The point person for event set-up, logistics and internal staffing, Little thrives on Breck’s diverse calendar — alpine racing programs, terrain park events, Dew Tour, big mountain competitions coming to Peak 6 in March and, currently underway, the Hartford Disabled Sports Ski Spectacular that brings more than 750 guests to town for the nation’s largest winter sports festival for people with physical disabilities.
Coming December 14, EpicMix Racing opens for its second season. The 14- to 16-gate giant slalom dual course located along the Sundown run on Peak 9 invites two skiers, snowboarders, adaptive athletes, kids and adults to race down the course at once. Racers can access their times and share experiences using the EpicMix app and can even race against four-time overall World Cup Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, Lindsey Vonn.
“If you’re able to get down a blue run, you’re savvy enough to get through the gates,” says Little, who oversees the program for all eight Vail Resorts. “The whole purpose of this program is to make ski racing more accessible to more people in a fun, unintimidating, approachable atmosphere.”
The best part of his job? Bringing a smile to people’s faces as they experience different events, Little says. “You see a lot of incredible emotions out there,” he adds. “Particularly with the adaptive participants. It makes what we do very worthwhile.”
When he’s not masterminding spectacular Breck events, Little can be found skiing the south side of Peak 10 and Whales Tail, swimming at the rec center or teaching his daughter how to shred beginner runs at Breck.
– Lisa Pogue