Resort Management

Faculty & Staff


Kevin A. Nelson, Ph.D. headshot
Associate Dean of Business School
Phone: 970.943.2610
Office Location: Borick Business Building 243
Michael Vieregge, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Business Administration
Phone: 970.943.2566
Office Location: Borick Business Building 241


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 BUAD 150 - Introduction to Hospitality (3 credits)

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.

 BUAD 331 - Food and Beverage Management (3 credits)

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.

 BUAD 332 - Rental and Retail Management (3 credits)

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. Class will be held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

 BUAD 337 - Hospitality Law and Risk Management (3 credits)

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 consumer's 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.

 BUAD 350 - Human Resource Management (3 credits)

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 COM 202 or instructor permission.

 BUAD 363 - Business and the Environment (3 credits)

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.

 BUAD 482 - Hospitality Operation Management (3 credits)

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. Class will be held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort.

 BUAD 491 - Strategic Management (3 credits)

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.

 BUAD 499 - Internship in Business Administration ( credits)

A course designed specifically for junior- and senior-level students. Internships provide guided, counseled, and progressive experience under a dual-tutelage program of a businessperson and an academician. An academically monitored activity to assure quality experience. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: completion of Base Curriculum; or instructor permission.

 ROE 398 - Program Planning (with laboratory) (3 credits)

Equips students with a variety of program-planning methodologies and skills. Emphasis is placed on the planning, organization, implementation, and evaluation of recreation programs. Theories are applied in an experiential setting. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.

Western Colorado University’s Resort Management program 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 Resort Management 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 university's Hospitality Club, which reaches out to local tourism providers with service assistance for food contract providers, restaurants and 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 and safari lodges in Africa
  • Fine-dining restaurants
  • Hospitality startups and entrepreneurs
  • Lodges/inns/B&Bs/hotels at any quality level
  • Local and 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
  • Amelia Island Plantation, Fernandina Beach, Fla.
  • Beaver Run Resort, Breckenridge
  • Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs
  • Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Crested Butte
  • Club Nautique de Versoix, Versoix, Switzerland
  • Copper Mountain, Summit County
  • Crested Butte Country Club, Crested Butte
  • Crystal Sands Resort, Destin, Fla.
  • Daufuskie Island Resort, Daufuskie Island, S.C.
  • ESPN Winter X Games
  • Four Seasons Dallas, Dallas, Texas
  • Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mashantucket, 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 Mountain, Salida
  • 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, Silverton
  • South Seas Plantation, Captiva, Fla.
  • Sun Valley Resort, Sun Valley, Idaho
  • Tahoe Adaptive Ski School, Truckee, Calif.
  • Telluride Ski & Snowboard Club, Telluride
  • The Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Va.
  • The Westin Maui, Maui, Hawaii
  • Walton’s Grizzly Lodge, Portola, Calif.