Casper officials have hired a new manager for the city-owned Hogadon Ski Area.

City manager John Patterson says former Casper Mountain Racers head coach and program director Chris Smith will take over as the ski facility's new manager.

Patterson says Smith has over 30 years of experience in the ski industry.

“Chris was a known quantity, he has been with the Casper Mountain Racers for a number of years,” Patterson said. “He understands the smaller ski areas and he’s not a product of some other large resort expecting to have loads of money.”

Patterson says Smith will tackle several challenges at Hogadon in the coming years.

“Chris is going to lead an effort to upgrade the facilities and the infrastructure up at Hogadon – the lodge, the lifts, even our snow-making equipment needs to be upgraded,” Patterson said. “We haven’t invested a lot up there over the past 30 years, so Chris will be responsible for making sure that happens.”

Smith has been the Casper Mountain Racers head coach and program director for the past six years. He has also been with the Casper Mountain Snow Sports School for the past three years.

Patterson says Hogadon is scheduled to open Dec. 14.