White Pass General Manager To “Step Aside” New Manager Named
After 36-years as the General Manager of the White Pass Ski Area Kevin McCarthy has announced he's stepping down to make way for a new leader at the pass. A press release says McCarthy was named the General Manager of White Pass Ski Area in 1984 at the young age of 26-years-old. He first arrived at the pass during a semester off from the University of New Hampshire to, in his own words, “...become a ski bum in the Pacific Northwest." The press release says "McCarthy’s road to White Pass began in 1976 when he and close friend Jeff Lipes blanketed Washington and Oregon ski areas with employment inquiries. A copy landed on the desk of legendary White Pass General Manager and UNH alumnus Nelson Bennett and the duo were hired to serve as race club coaches, ski patrollers, instructors and anything needed for the 1976/77 season. While that season was a bust in terms of snowfall, McCarthy fell in love with the area and noticed that Bennett did not have a succession plan in place."
Bennett first asked McCarthy to start as the Food and Beverage Manager after he graduated and eventually McCarthy was able to work in all aspects of the ski area. “I owe all my success at White Pass to two individuals; Nelson Bennett and Dave Mahre. Nelson gave me the chance and Dave supported me from day 1; no we didn't always agree, but that is probably why we were successful."
White Pass officials say McCarthy isn't retiring because he'll be at the pass next season supporting the newly named General Manager, 36-year-old Rikki Cooper. She officially becomes the General Manager on July 1, 2021. Cooper was a ski racer joining the White Pass Ski Club at the age of 11-years-old. She has worked as a Controller since 2009.
Rikki and her husband Bryce reside in Yakima with their children Erik and Blake.