Mountain Resorts

An aerial view of a ski resort at sunset

With over 65 years in the business and over 3,000 projects under our belts, we’ve shaped—and continue to shape—the ski and mountain resort industry through strategically focused and comprehensive concept-to-completion services. We’ve become true partners and trusted advisors to our clients. We fully understand this industry and approach our work with passion and a great sense of responsibility to help our clients deliver a great experience, year-round.

Our Services

An excavator building a chairlift

We know mountain systems. Our thoughtful on-mountain planning and design is rooted in a deep understanding of every aspect of operations and the guest experience. Whether you’re creating a new resort, expanding skiable terrain, or replacing a lift, SE Group is with you from ideation to implementation. Our planning and design services include feasibility studies, site selection, master plans, ski trail design, lift layout and technology selection, capacity modeling, and facility balance.

Why us?

You are the leaders and visionaries in the ski industry. We’re your trusted partners in making that vision viable. We’ve been stewards of the ski industry for over 65 years, helping create exceptional mountain systems. Together with our clients, we will continue to lead, innovate, and shape the future of mountain resorts and ski areas.

65 years of experience

Vision that's rooted in strategy

3,000 projects and counting

Established 1958 Don't just take our word for it

Let’s start bringing your vision to life

Portrait of Kent Sharp
Kent Sharp skiing

Kent Sharp

President / CEO

Strategic leader. Convergent thinker. 

Kent helps mountain resort operators and land management agencies navigate the complex, often highly challenging, NEPA and environmental permitting processes. He combines decades of regulatory expertise; the ability to be able to see several steps ahead and anticipate issues early in the planning process; and a deep understanding of the operational and strategic challenges faced by ski area operators. In addition, Kent assists clients with strategic planning and opportunity evaluation in areas such as master planning and financial/business optimization analyses. 


Kent has been with SE Group since 1996, and prior to that, spent eight years as a Ski Area Permit Administrator for the US Forest Service and several seasons in a variety of mountain resort operations positions.  

In addition to his work in domestic environmental permitting, Kent has managed several projects which led to the development of new international resorts in Turkey and Azerbaijan. Kent is a sought-after speaker and has addressed organizations such as CLE International, the National Ski Areas Association, the US Forest Service and other industry organizations.  

Kent has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Business Administration and Finance from the University of Colorado. 


  • Strategic and Environmental Analysis for Mountain Resorts
  • Master Planning and Permitting
  • Financial/Business Management Consulting and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance 

Outside the Office

A native of Colorado, Kent spent much of his youth skiing and recreating in Summit County and has been a full-time resident of Breckenridge since 1987. Kent and his family are avid skiers, bikers, and technical rock climbers. They’re always on the hunt for the next great powder line or wandering the beautiful desert of western Colorado and eastern Utah. 

Portrait of Chris Cushing
Chris skiing on fresh powder on a sunny day

Chris Cushing

Principal, Mountain Planning

Mountain guru. Soft-spoken sage. Masterful collaborator.

Chris leads our global resort planning practice and directs all aspects of our mountain planning and design services—working with uncharted terrain, developing mountain plans, and overseeing construction. Chris understands the business of mountain resorts at a deep level, and is expert at creating seamless physical and operational interface between the on-mountain facilities, base area guest service facilities and four-season resort developments around the world. Known for his attention to detail, understanding of mountain terrain and systems, and ability to quickly size up situations and devise solutions, Chris’ expertise and passion for the mountains helps developers and operators to create and refine their operations, and maximize both customer enjoyment and operational effectiveness.


Chris has been with SE Group for over 25 years, and has worked on and led projects throughout North and South America, China, Europe, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Australasia.

He has been recognized by Winter Sports Technology International magazine as one of “the world’s most respected ski area experts” and a leading expert in global resort design. Many of his ski area projects have received design awards, including Deer Valley, Utah and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. With his broad expertise and global experience, Chris has lectured extensively on mountain planning to audiences ranging from the US Forest Service to the National Ski Areas Association national convention.

Chris has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont.


  • Strategic planning
  • Site feasibility and operations analysis
  • Ski area planning and design
  • Project implementation

Outside the Office

Chris grew up in northern New Hampshire, and from an early age acquired a passion for the mountains. He first donned a pair of skis at the age of three and spent his childhood years skiing and racing on nearby Cannon Mountain. Many a weekend saw Chris and his buddies hiking and camping in the Franconia and Presidential Ranges of the White Mountains. As a teen in the early 1970s, he would accompany his Dad, Joe, on trips to design ski trails around New England.

This passion for the mountains and intrigue with ski trail design lead to a career at Sno-engineering/SE Group. This career started in 1985 in New Hampshire, and then took him to Colorado in 1993, before he finally settled in Utah and “The Greatest Snow on Earth” in 2002 with his wife and their three boys.

Now, Chris skis, hikes, and rides his bike in the Wasatch Mountains and frequently travels overseas for backcountry skiing and other adventures. He recently expanded his passion for the mountains underwater, diving in the coral reefs, canyons, and walls of the Caribbean and South Pacific.

Portrait of George Schmidt
George Schmidt on a mountain

George Schmidt

Chief Financial Officer / Financial Analyst

George’s unparalleled commitment to assisting clients achieve their business goals through the development of sound financial and operational strategies is one of SE Group’s best assets. He combines his broad knowledge of the resort industry with a deep understanding of current economic trends to present analyses that connect strategic and financial plans to existing operations—providing operators an array of potential outcomes as a resort moves through implementation.


George has 20 years of financial and operational knowledge having served as the finance director for two large ski resorts, in addition to public accounting and project management.

George’s role at SE Group is multi-faceted—contributing to financial feasibility studies and strategic business plans for clients, while concurrently ensuring the financial well-being of our organization and reporting systems as part of the company’s Leadership Team and as the Chief Financial Officer.

George holds a Bachelor of Business Administration – Accounting from the University of New Mexico and an Associate Arts Degree from Wenatchee Valley College. George has also completed a Certificate Program in Commercial Real Estate from the University of Washington.


  • Financial analysis/Pro forma
  • Strategic business planning
  • Operational review

Outside the Office

A Pacific Northwest native, George headed into the Cascade mountains to ski at age 13, which began lifelong passion for the sport. George loves to ski in any weather as his favorite snow condition is white! Off the mountains he is avid cyclist, fledgling salmon fishermen, and a perpetual novice golfer. With kids out of the house, he and his wife enjoy trips to Hawaii—spending most of their time snorkeling or looking for a new cove to explore.

Portrait of Claire Humber
Claire Humber balancing on log

Claire Humber

Director, Resort Planning

Big picture thinker. Clear-eyed pragmatist. Straight talker.

Claire helps resort operators and developers conceive, plan and bring to life ski and mountain resorts that balance customer delight and loyalty, distinctiveness, operational efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. She combines systems thinking, wide-ranging experience, an abiding commitment to the ski industry, and expertise in creating focus and consensus to help clients make the most of what’s in place today, while building for a future that’s likely to be significantly different from the past.


Claire has been with SE Group for over 30 years and has led both large and small resort projects throughout Canada and the United States, Scandinavia, Iceland, Korea and Japan. This breadth of experience and expertise allows her to understand the interconnectedness and specifics of a wide range of topics—ranging from development trends to multi-season operations to guest services and branding.

Claire is a sought-after speaker and writer. She has spoken at National Ski Areas Association and Urban Land Institute conferences and meetings, and publishes often in Ski Area Management magazine. Claire is a member of the Recreation Development Council of ULI.

Claire has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.


  • Strategic planning
  • Resort land use planning
  • Guest services facilities programming
  • Multi-season recreation planning

Outside the Office

After beginning her career—and falling in love with the mountains at Sno.e Canada in Whistler, BC—Claire now calls the Green Mountains home. A Brit by birth, she finds the landscape and traditions of New England both beautiful and familiar.

When not at work (or enjoying the fringe benefits of traveling and skiing while working), Claire is likely to be found exploring the Vermont countryside by bike, putting more miles on her hiking boots, puttering around her garden, planning future adventures with family and friends, working out the latest edition of her 3-D holiday cards, or in the pursuit of chocolate. All are approached with the same degree of passion and enthusiasm for which she is known. Especially the pursuit of chocolate…

Portrait of Travis Beck
Travis Beck on a mountain

Travis Beck

Managing Director, Mountain Resorts & Public Lands

"What can we provide to this project to set it apart?" Travis asks this question of himself and his team at every stage to constantly challenge the status quo and improve the results of all processes and projects with which he is involved. 

Travis is the Managing Director for SE Group’s Public Lands and Mountain Resorts market sectors and previously led the Environmental Planning and Permitting team at SE Group. With an accomplished background in federal permitting, Travis has managed or directed dozens of EISs and EAs over his 20+ years at SE Group. Complimenting his policy credentials, and through his leadership as the Board Chair for the Breckenridge Tourism Office, Travis studies and appreciates the complex relationship between the drive for outdoor recreation tourism and the management of quality of life and place. 

Always looking to tackle complex projects and processes, Travis strives for collaboration, engagement, and innovation amongst his team and external partners. Managing Service Areas across the market allows him to create effective multi-disciplinary project teams to best meet the needs of our clients and push our project teams to new standards.


Travis’s work with public lands and mountain resorts has been recognized multiple times with the Forest Service, having earned a Regional Forester’s Award and a Chief’s Award for innovative strategies. His management experience includes projects with Forest Service and BLM managed lands, mountain resorts and ski areas, multiple-use trail networks, bike parks, and land exchanges. With a background in environmental science and policy, Travis specializes in managing large -and often controversial - land management projects. 

Travis has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from The University of Kansas. He has served as a board member for several organizations around Summit County.


  • Strategic NEPA compliance
  • Endangered Species Act – Section 7
  • Recreation tourism 
  • Master planning
  • Public engagement

Outside the Office

Travis appreciates abutting the National Forest at his home outside of Breckenridge and enjoying the beauty and recreation of his mountain community. He also really loves his flowers that only grow four months out of the year!

Portrait of Pete Williams
Pete Williams skiing

Pete Williams

Director, Mountain Planning

Pete constantly strives to improve the balance, efficiency, and success of mountain resorts.

Pete has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to mountain planning, the ski industry in general, and SE Group projects—past and present. Drawing upon his extensive experience, Pete applies his strong analytical skills and insight to all aspects of mountain resort planning—culminating in exceptional deliverables and service to clients. His enthusiasm is evidenced by his commitment to helping resorts and their operators reach new heights, evolving SE Group’s planning processes to address new challenges, and leading the ski industry into the 21st century.


Pete has been a mountain planner with SE Group since 1997. Over this time he has been responsible for a variety of Alpine facility plans throughout North America, Asia, and Europe. He also spent two years as a resort planner for Powdr Corp, overseeing projects at their various mountain resorts. This on-the-ground operational experience gives Pete unparalleled insight when it comes to strategic planning, resort design, capacity analysis, and master planning.Pete has published numerous articles in ski industry magazines, led discussions at industry conventions, and guest lectured at University of Utah classes on mountain development and recreation.Pete has a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology from the College of the Atlantic in Maine.


  • Ski area planning and design
  • Resort capacity and analysis
  • Master planning
  • Map analysis and site evaluation
  • Field layout

Outside the Office

With kids who are usually enthusiastic about joining him, and a black lab who always is, Pete spends virtually all his free time enjoying the outdoors—skiing, biking, hiking, and boating. Off the trails or the water, Pete can often be found trying something new in the kitchen.

Portrait of Adam Portz
Adam Portz on a mountain

Adam Portz

Director, Landscape Architecture

Adam is a natural collaborator and creative thinker—always insightful, engaged, and committed to providing the best solution for the situation.

He balances a creative approach to master planning and site design with a solid technical foundation—delivering contemporary designs that are also context sensitive. Adam’s genuine passion for his work and attentiveness to clients are the building blocks of strong working relationships and successful projects.


A Registered Landscape Architect, Adam has over 14 years of experience and contributes to a diverse array of projects across all of SE Group’s markets.He is a dedicated volunteer in the community—serving on local review boards, as well as the Executive Board of the Vermont Chapter of ASLA, where he has been recognized with numerous awards. Adam has also been a guest studio critic at the University of Vermont and Vermont Technical College offering insight and experience to those pursuing the landscape architecture profession.

Adam has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.


  • Master planning
  • Site planning and design
  • Public participation and interaction

Outside the Office

When not in the office, Adam enjoys spending time with his wife and two young kids—whether camping, hiking, gardening, skiing, or searching for the next adventure. His next favorite spot is any ice cream shop: mint chocolate chip please!

Portrait of Ashley Smith
Ashley Smith on a glacier

Ashley Smith

Associate Director, Environmental Planning & Permitting

A highly committed and incisive project manager, Ash excels while working on and managing large-scale and complex projects. Specializing in NEPA, her experience, insight, and enthusiasm allow her to efficiently navigate projects and clients through today’s complicated regulatory environment. Ash thrives on finding the right solutions for the challenges of our projects. She takes particular pride in getting the job done accurately and on time—enabling our clients to move forward with their project goals. 


Joining SE Group in 2016, Ash brings nearly 20 years of experience in the field of environmental permitting and planning in a wide range of planning sectors including Forest Health and Fire Management, Recreation, and Utilities. She has successfully managed and authored environmental analyses throughout the Rocky Mountain, Southwest, Pacific Southwest, Northwest, and Northeast regions.

Ash has a Master of Science in Watershed Science and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Environmental Science from Smith College. 


  • Large-scale Project Management
  • Ecosystem Resilience and Restoration
  • National Environmental Policy Act Process Management 

Outside the Office

As a military kid, Ash grew up throughout the States as well as internationally. She spent her early years backpacking on the Olympic Peninsula, the Adirondacks, and White Mountains, as well as the Bavarian and Austrian Alps. Today, Ash and her husband can be found exploring the Rocky Mountains, taking day hikes or playing in the snow with their three daughters. 

Portrait of David Nicholas
Dave Nicholas fishing

David Nicholas

Associate Director, Landscape Architecture

Dave Nicholas is a landscape architect with over 30 years of experience leading the planning and design of award-winning built works that have become community focal points. Dave brings diverse site planning, landscape architectural design, and implementation experience with an emphasis in resort planning, parks, plazas, streetscape enhancements, urban design, and community recreation. The public realm and pedestrian sense of place is a strategic and organizing element to his work and the success of every project.

Dave’s professional passion is driven by design excellence, quality service, and managing multidisciplinary teams focused on quality of life, placemaking, and elevating the importance of connecting people to nature and promoting active lifestyles. He has extensive experience working with resort communities to address recreational needs including base area resort master plans, walkability studies, community parks, and resort-based luxury hospitality projects. He is a creative problem solver, conceptual designer, and is skilled in site planning, hand sketching and drawing, storytelling, and placemaking.

Dave has been a resident of Park City since 2003 and is based in our Salt Lake City, Utah office. With 20+ years of experience in the intermountain west region, Dave is passionate about mountain resort communities, outdoor recreation and tourism, and inspired to nurture the growth of our landscape architecture and design practice in the west.


  • Site planning and design
  • Ski resort master planning
  • Parks, streetscapes, and urban design
  • Community recreation

Outside the Office

Dave’s deep connection with nature began with Midwestern roots growing up in the rolling, agricultural hills of Iowa and being introduced to the game of golf at an early age. While the sculptural qualities of golf course design sparked the pursuit of a landscape architectural career, the immersion in nature inspired the pursuit of other outdoor recreation activities including hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking, skiing and snowshoeing. Today, you can find Dave and his wife Heather exploring the diverse western landscape in their retro camp trailer with their Berna doodle Yona fly fishing rivers and high mountain lakes, hiking mountain and desert trails, discovering western arts and culture, and enjoying an occasional game of golf.

Portrait of Kristen Carey
Kristen Carey cross country skiing

Kristen Carey

Senior Associate, Mountain Planning

Kristen is a driven and attentive planner. Her solid science background gives her the foundation to approach NEPA and planning projects with a critical eye. Approachable and knowledgeable, she is able to communicate technical information in relatable terms that inform both our clients and the public during the project engagement process. Focusing on the day-to-day project details to delivery timely products is her forte. Her technical writing, mapping, and graphics presentation capabilities are key elements of her projects.


Kristen has over seven years of technical fieldwork, research, and analysis experience. She has a strong technical background in the fields of geology and hydrology, coupled with scientific-based problem solving—all of which are essential for the successful completion of our resource-driven projects.

Kristen has a Master in Environmental Science from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Arts in Geology from Middlebury College.


  • Environmental analysis
  • Geographic information systems
  • Public engagement

Outside the Office

Kristen grew up racing down the slopes of Midwest and Colorado, and eventually around the world. Through her passion for skiing, she developed a great appreciation for travel, the mountains and the environment. These values took her to Middlebury College, where she skied and studied environmental processes, and then ultimately back to Colorado where she continues to play in the mountains.

She can be found in the mountains throughout all four seasons skiing, mountain biking, hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery. When not in the mountains, she loves to travel either back to her roots in Wisconsin or to experience new places and people.

Portrait of Scott Prior
Scott Prior skiing

Scott Prior

Senior Associate, Environmental Planning & Permitting

Scott is a versatile, resourceful, and attentive project manager. Scott moves easily between planning and NEPA processes—applying wholistic and insightful strategies to a wide range of projects. Additionally, his appreciation for a thoughtful and balanced approach between conservation and development complements the project process.


Scott joined SE group in 2015 and contributes a strong educational background in environmental studies, which included major course work in natural resource management and land use policy. Engagement in a breadth of both volunteer and professional experiences prior to joining SE Group makes Scott a well-rounded asset to the team.

Scott has a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Policy from Colorado College.


  • Environmental Policy + Analysis
  • Data Management + Modeling
  • Public Engagement

Outside the Office

Scott enjoys all that the Rocky Mountains have to offer. His winters are characterized by long backcountry tours on his snowboard into his favorites spots, often in time to catch a sunrise. In the summer and fall you can usually find Scott on his mountain bike or standing in a river, fly fishing for trout.

Portrait of Chris Keil
Chris Keil skiing

Chris Keil

Senior Associate, Landscape Architecture

Chris brings diverse experience in leading, managing, and supporting projects in both the intermountain west and the northeast to assist clients and collaborators. As an attentive listener and thoughtful project partner, he enjoys developing creative solutions to challenging and complex site conditions. Whether through drone photography, Civil 3D modeling, vegetation inventories, or hand sketching, Chris enjoys merging innovative technology with more traditional techniques to help explore, understand, and provide a future vision for a site. Providing detailed construction documentation and onsite support during the build phase of a project are also critical roles that Chris enjoys.


Chris has over 13 years of experience leading landscape architecture and ecological consulting firms, with an additional five plus years in the landscape construction business. He has worked on award-winning projects from dense urban areas to remote sprawling ranches while also teaching at the collegiate level at several points throughout his career. Ecological restoration and sustainable landscape design are specialties that have remained a focus throughout his career.
Chris has a Master of Landscape Architecture from Cornell University and is also a licensed drone pilot, certified arborist, and trained wetland delineator.


  • Site Planning & Design
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Construction Documentation & Administration
  • Graphic Representation

Outside the Office

Chris enjoys skiing, biking, paddling, backpacking and generally spending time adventuring outdoors with his young family. Outdoor recreation and exploring the natural world are things that inspire Chris on a regular basis and he is really excited to be part of a team that shares those values and helps to develop recreation space for others to enjoy.