Changes announced at top of Nevis Range Mountain Experience

Chris OBrien, , CEO of Nevis Range Mountain Experience
Chris OBrien, , CEO of Nevis Range Mountain Experience

Lochaber outdoor sports centre Nevis Range Mountain Experience has announced a raft of changes to its senior management team, including the promotion of commercial manager Chris O’Brien to the role of chief executive.

Mr O’Brien, who has been with the business since last year, has replaced former Outward Bound director Rod Pashley, who was appointed to the top post on an interim basis in June following the early retirement of managing director Peter MacFarlane.

Nevis Range, which runs the UK’s only mountain gondola on the slopes of the 4,006ft Aonach Mor mountain, near Fort William, and offers winter snowsports, climbing, mountain biking, high rope tree adventures and tube slides, also announced the appointment of new engineering and activities directors and an operations and facilities manager.

Mr O’Brien, who was formerly destination manager with Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s tourism body Outdoor Capital of the UK (Fort William and Lochaber), said the aim of the team was to establish the centre as Britain’s “number one outdoor experience”.

Nevis Range, which opened in 1989, has experienced mixed fortunes in recent years, with thousands of spectators flocking to an annual weekend-long mountain biking world cup event, but other visitor numbers hit by weather conditions.

Although the most recent winter season was a success, the previous was the second worst in the resort’s history, with closures due to a lack of snow and high winds more than halving the number of skier days there compared to the year before.

Earlier this year, the centre announced a three-year tie-up with bike manufacturer Trek, including funds, equipment, technology and promotional activities.

Announcing the changes to its senior management team, Nevis Range said they were designed to “propel the business forward”.

Chris MacPherson, who has been at the centre for more than 20 years, has been appointed engineering director, John Sutherland has become activities director and Grant Huggan promoted to operations and facilities manager.

Mr O’Brien said: “Together we are going to make Nevis Range the number one outdoor experience in the UK.

“Many companies aspire to change an industry yet very few have all the elements required – talent, resources and perseverance. Nevis Range has proven that it has all three in abundance.”