Resort Management

Western State Colorado University’s Resort Management program goal offers unique educational opportunities creating a brand and style of hospitality and tourism services known as "Western Hospitality."

Throughout the program, students gain hospitality and tourism management education, innovation, and applied research and practical industry experiences.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire

Students in Western’s RM program function not only in hotels and restaurants settings but also in outdoor resort environments. Students apply these skills and competencies at venues throughout the Rocky Mountains as well as in a global context.

Students learn the fundamentals of service—whether it is analyzing occupancy trends for a resort, tracking an organization’s carbon footprint, planning activities, closing a sale, or basics like suggesting a trail run or starting up a snowmobile.

Beyond the Classroom

"Western Hospitality" finds its application in the College’s Hospitality Club which reaches out to local tourism providers with service assistance for food contract providers, restaurants & hotels, local outfitters and dude ranches, and tourism offices.

Local and international internships and research expand students’ understanding of the day-to-day operations of the industry. Western partners with and serves a network of stakeholders that include alumni, industry leaders, the Gunnison Valley and Western community. Whether participating in a classroom-based research project or an internship, students gain the necessary skills to solve the business challenges they will face in the industry or in graduate school.

Internship Categories

Ski resorts in the Rockies and around the globe
Dude ranches in the Rockies & Safari Lodges in Africa
Fine-dining restaurants everywhere
All hospitality Start-ups and entrepreneurs
Lodges/Inns/B&Bs/Hotels at any quality level
Local & international hospitality chains
Guide services in any environment
Chambers of Commerce/Destination Marketing Organizations anywhere
Non-hospitality businesses operating in a local hospitality driven economy

Recent Internships

Adaptive Sports Center, Crested Butte, Colo.
Amelia Island Plantation, Fernandina Beach, Fla.
Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge, Colo.
Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs Colo.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte, Colo.
Club Nautique de Versoix, Versiox, Switzerland
Copper Mountain, Summit County, Colo.
Crested Butte Country Club, Crested Butte, Colo.
Crystal Sands Resort, Destin, Fla.
Daufuskie Island Resort, Daufuskie Island, S.C.
Denver Marriott City Center, Denver, Colo.
ESPN Winter X Games
Four Seasons Dallas, Dallas, Texas
Foxwoods Resort Casino, Ledyard, Conn.
Fripp Island Resort, Fripp Island, S.C.
La Tourelle Resort, Ithaca, N.Y.
Las Vegas Golf & Tennis, Las Vegas, Nev.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, N.Y.
Monarch Ski Resort, Salida, Colo.
Mountain Sports International, Salt Lake City, Utah
Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo, Fla.
Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, Destin, Fla.
Sheraton Maui, Maui, Hawaii
Silverton Mountain Ski Area, Silverton, Colo.
South Seas Plantation, Captiva, Fla.
Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Idaho
Tahoe Adaptive Ski School, Truckee, Calif.
Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club, Telluride, Colo.
The Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Va.
The Westin Maui, Maui, Hawaii
Walton’s Grizzly Lodge, Portola, Calif.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Resort Management Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

Share your interest with friends and family: 
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  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.


An introduction to the field of accounting with emphasis on corporate financial statements. Financial statements are viewed as a communication device conveying the financial health of a business to interested parties. The objective of this first course is to teach students to read, analyze, and interpret these financial statements. The emphasis is on developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills using accounting concepts. Students are exposed to the steps used by accountants to record, measure, and process financial information. Cash flow analysis is contrasted with the accrual basis of accounting; the concepts of asset valuation and income measurement are discussed. Accounting majors must pass this class with a minimum grade of "C." Prerequisites: completion of the College Mathematics Course Requirement with minimum grade of "C-", or instructor permission.


An introduction to the preparation, uses, and analysis of common management accounting information. Topics include cost-volume-profit analysis, capital budgeting and present value applications, cash budgets, financial statement analysis, taxes, and management decisions, plus a brief introduction to modern cost accounting, with emphasis on activity-based costing systems. The development of problem-solving and analytical abilities is given primary importance throughout the course. Accounting majors must pass this class with a minimum grade of "C". Prerequisites: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of C; and ACC 201 with a minimum grade of C.


An introduction to hospitality management, including historical developmental patterns, current business trends, and future international expectations. Current job market, working environments, personal risks, and rewards are explored.


Designed to teach students to apply a variety of interdisciplinary computer applications in their business professions. Topics include integrating word processing, spreadsheets, databases, communications, and graphics on personal computers. A minimal skill in keyboarding is required.

 BUAD 300 - BUSINESS ETHICS (3 credits)

A study of how ethics apply to business organizations today. Special emphasis is placed on developing moral reasoning. The course provides multiple perspectives on actual cases and ethical dilemmas faced by organizations with an emphasis on allowing students to think through ethical problems. Topics studied include moral philosophies, moral agency and development, ethical underpinnings of free markets and economic systems, and ethical concerns with the environment, future generations, and other stakeholders such as employees and consumers. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 309 or COTH 202; or instructor permission.


A study of the fundamentals, principles, and practices of effective written communication, including concepts of appearance, language, and psychology of tone and persuasiveness as applied to the business letter, memorandum, and report. Presentation skills are also discussed. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of "C-"; sophomore standing.


Prepares students for management of sales, food cost controls, beverage cost controls, labor, personnel, sanitation, and market analysis as they relate to the resort industry. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 150; or instructor permission.


An introduction to operating rental and retail-profit centers as part of a corporation involved in the resort industry. Topics covered include managing personnel, equipment, training, traffic flow, buying, forecasting, and accounting. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 150; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 334 - LODGING OPERATIONS (3 credits)

A focus on organizational structure and front office positions. Topics covered include reservation, registration and rooming process; management, financial, and policy control procedures; and organization, staffing, and functions of housekeeping departments Prerequisite: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 150; or instructor permission.


Advertising, sales promotions, media utilization, public relations, and personal selling are highlighted in this course. Legal regulations and ethical considerations in mass media advertising and promotions are also covered. Finally, the student is exposed to the principles of planning and budgeting for such media events. Prerequisites: MATH 140, MATH 141, or MATH 151 with a minimum grade of "C-"; ACC 201 with a minimum grade of "C"; BUAD 270; or instructor permission.


Provides an awareness of the rights and responsibilities that the law grants to or imposes upon a hotelkeeper and illustrates the possible consequences of failure to satisfy legal obligations. Also included is risk management as a means of mitigating exposure to lawsuits and fines. Prerequisites: BUAD 150; BUAD 210; or instructor permission.

 BUAD 345 - CONSUMER BEHAVIOR (3 credits)

Utilizing theories from the behavioral sciences, this course provides an in-depth examination of the individual customer learning and decision-making processes, segmentation, as well as culture, subculture, and social class relationships with marketing. Students develop an understanding of consumers' shopping behavior, utilization of different marketing channels, perception of products, and reactions to advertising and other selling methods. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 270; or instructor permission.


Provides students with an understanding of the functions, content and challenges of Human Resource Management (HRM) in organizations today. Insights will be developed on basic dimensions of HRM such as recruitment, selection, performance management, rewards and retention, as well as particular challenges concerning strategic HRM and global environments. Emphasis is placed on how the complexities of HRM relate to students' past and future experiences as members of organizations. Prerequisites: BUAD 309 or COTH 202 or instructor permission.


A focus on the impact on the environment of human presence and absence. There is a consideration of various "green practices" that result in both positive environmental impacts and cost savings to industry, and examination of governmental initiatives regarding various business practices and their expected impacts on the environment, on businesses' bottom lines, and on consumers. Course material emphasizes videos, readings, and guest lectures. Prerequisite: completion of Base Curriculum; or instructor permission.


An integration of management functions learned in previous classes into a workable approach to profitable resort operations. Students are encouraged to take this course during their last semester; graduating seniors are given priority in enrollment. Prerequisite: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 331; BUAD 332; BUAD 334; BUAD 337; BUAD 360;or instructor permission.


The formal analysis of an organization's macro and industry environment; its mission and goals; and strategy formulation, implementation, and control. This is a capstone course which integrates the student's knowledge from the areas of accounting, finance, marketing, and management. Students are encouraged to take this course during their last semester; graduating seniors are given priority in enrollment. Prerequisites: completion of Base Curriculum; BUAD 309; BUAD 333 or 350; BUAD 360; and senior standing.


An in-depth study of the essentials of word-processing, spreadsheets, and information management, using modern computers and software. Substantial student competence in these areas is required for further study at the College. Applications are presented from various fields.

 ECON 201 - MACROECONOMICS (3 credits)

An introduction to the methods, models, and approaches used by economists to analyze and interpret events and policies related to the overall operation of the economy. The course endeavors to make sense of unemployment, inflation, recessions, debt and deficits, economic growth, the expanding role of the Federal Reserve, and policies to provide stability to the economy. Additional attention is given to the making of economic policy in an era of globalization. Finally, students are exposed to multiple schools of thought regarding macroeconomic reasoning. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 460 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or college-level math requirement with a minimum grade of "C-." Prerequisite or corequisite: ENG 102.

 ECON 202 - MICROECONOMICS (3 credits)

The theory of microeconomics makes use of the tools of marginal cost-benefit analysis to provide a framework for the economic analysis of decision-making. The focus is on the choices of individual firms and consumers, and the resultant outcomes in individual markets. The social implications of the functioning of competitive markets are examined, as well as the causes of market failure and the potential roles of government in correcting them. Prerequisite: ACT math score of 19 or above; SAT math score of 460 or above; pass MATH 099; or Accuplacer Elementary Algebra test score of 85 or higher, or college-level math requirement with a minimum grade of "C-."

Faculty & Staff


Associate Dean of the Business School, Professor of Business Administration
B.A., Brigham Young University; M.A., Ph.D., Michigan State University.
Phone: (970) 943-2610
Office Location: Borick Building 217
Professor of Business Administration
M.A., M.P.A., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin.
Phone: (970) 943-2566
Office Location: Borick Business Building 241