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Vail hires Scott Robson as next town manager

September 24, 2019, 9:21 am

The Vail Town Council has selected Scott Robson, the current executive director of the Civic Center Conservancy in Denver, known for his collaboration and innovation, to become Vail’s next town manager. Robson’s appointment will be formalized by the Town Council at an upcoming evening meeting with approval of an employment contract. His first day on the job will be Nov. 1.

Scott Robson

An experienced leader of both government and nonprofit organizations in mountain and urban communities, Robson has managed at the city, county and federal levels within Colorado and has led highly visible nonprofit organizations.

In announcing Robson’s selection as Vail’s town manager, Mayor Dave Chapin says Robson’s multi-disciplined experiences and love of the mountains have positioned him well to take the helm in Vail. “Scott impressed us with his ability to grasp the challenges and opportunities we have ahead of us and how each of his previous experiences have contributed to his readiness,” he said. “His love of the mountain culture and emphasis on community-building makes him the perfect fit for this job.”

Robson’s management experiences have included roles with Boulder County government as alternative transportation and trails manager, lead planning manager with the National Park Service, and director of Parks, Recreation and Open Space for Louisville, Colo.

In 2007 he was tapped to lead the largest parks and recreation system in the Rocky Mountain region when he was appointed by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to serve as executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation.
Robson’s leadership also includes four years as executive director of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District, one of Colorado’s largest special districts, and governed by an elected board of directors. 

In 2014, the Colorado native was named CEO of the Colorado Mountain Club, a century old nonprofit organization focused on conservation, recreation and education. While there, he led the turnaround of a 15-year downward trend in membership, which included a 105 percent growth in the under-30 demographic over three years.

In his current role with the Civic Center Conservancy, Robson works with a 17-member board tasked with restoring, enhancing and activating Denver’s only National Historic Landmark. This has included establishing relationships with city officials, major individual and corporate partners to develop new initiatives, fund the organization’s key programs and execute new major events such as the 2019 UIAA World Cup Ice Climbing Championships.
Robson, 47, says he’s thrilled to be coming to Vail, personally and professionally. “During my lifetime in Colorado, I’ve watched Vail ascend to its position as the role model for other mountain resort communities nationally and internationally. I now look forward to working with this amazing community to help achieve great things during this time of opportunity in the Vail Valley.”

Robson has a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder School of Environmental Design.

As Vail’s eighth town manager since Vail’s incorporation in 1966, Robson will oversee a $73 million budget and 320 full-time equivalent employees.

Robson was selected during a national search process following the resignation of Greg Clifton. During the interim, Patty McKenny has served as acting town manager and will transition to her assistant town manager role upon Robson’s arrival. Mayor Chapin says McKenny and the entire town staff have worked tirelessly to keep the town running smoothly.

A community welcome reception for Robson and his family, which includes wife Vickie Hormuth and Scott’s sons Jack and Will Robson, will be scheduled this fall. Vickie is the executive director of the American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education and is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring the new headquarters of this national nonprofit organization to Vail.

The executive search firm Strategic Government Resources based in Keller, Texas, facilitated the hiring process.
For additional details, contact Mayor Chapin at 970-479-2100 or mchapin@vailgov.com.

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