Bear Creek Opening Day Joined by Local Government Officials

Macungie, Pa - Bear Creek Mountain Resort (Bear Creek) kicked off its 21st ski season this past Monday, December 21st. They opened safely and responsibly with the help of two local government officials.
Ryan Mackenzie, State Representative of the 134th legislative district and Ron Beitler, President of the Lower Macungie Board of Commissioners, were the resort’s “first chair” guests as the first on the slopes for the official start of the 20/21 winter season.
WFMZ’s Ali Reid joined the government officials for a brief chat before they hit the slopes. In the last of the morning’s ‘sunrise segments’, Jeff Brainard, vice president of sales and marketing for Southern Management, Bear Creek’s parent company, showed appreciation to the state representative.
“We [Bear Creek] want to thank Representative Mackenzie for making us a part of his day and taking time out to help us open the winter season,” said Brainard.
As a part of the Pennsylvania hospitality industry, which employs more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians and contributes more than $40 Billion annually to the state economy, Bear Creek employs more than 200 full-time team members, but during ski season that number more than quadruples.
“We are very excited to welcome Mr. Mackenzie to our resort. He is a tremendous proponent of the hospitality industry in Pennsylvania, which is critically important to us as we ramp up our operations with just over 900 team members during ski season,” said Brainard.
Gary Kline, marketing director for Bear Creek also welcomed another prominent figure in local business and government, Ron Beitler, who is very familiar with the resort and its operations.
“Ron has a unique understanding of the resort as a former team member and as owner of Barnone Weddings, a frequent presence at Bear Creek during wedding season. Our staff has gotten to know Ron quite well over the years and he is always a welcomed presence,” said Kline.
As Bear Creek responsibly opened the winter season to only hotel guests and season pass holders, the resort’s obligation to the health and well-being of its guests has been reflected in its Winter Operational Plan. The first week of the 20/21 winter season is open exclusively to season pass holders and hotel guests to ensure all new operations work smoothly. Kline also spoke to resort’s outdoor rules and regulations adopted from the National Ski Area Association’s (NSAA) Ski Well Be Well program.
“We want to emphasize to our guests that we are doing everything we can to allow for safe operations, but we need a little help from them to ensure we can keep operating,” said Kline. “We are requiring face masks to be worn both indoors and outdoors. Even though we are enforcing 6-feet distancing, guests must still wear masks when in the lift line or on the chair lift. In addition, our staff will not allow anyone ride the chair lift with another guest they don’t live with or didn’t travel with.”
In order to safely operate multiple food and beverage outlets, a full-service spa, outdoor events and activities, and a hotel with multiple event spaces, the team needed more than just a few signs and hand sanitizer stations. Earlier this year the resort enacted the Southern Management EVER STRONG program, a comprehensive cleaning and sanitization program. This program was recently complemented with EVENT STRONG, a detailed plan to hold both social and corporate events and programs within State and local guidelines with guest and team member well-being as the single most important priority. Bear Creek has been able to maintain a focus on the execution of these new programs and operating standards while maintaining the hospitality that the resort is known for.
As Brainard noted, “We have terrific team members working very well thought-out plans and we are all looking forward to a tremendous and fun winter season!”
Bear Creek Mountain Resort is a full-service, four-season resort located at 101 Doe Mountain Lane, Macungie, PA. The resort hosts more than 140 weddings a year, dozens of conferences, bike races, outdoor events and festivals and activities, welcoming more than 200,000 visitors and guests per year. It also offers skiing for all levels and is the premiere destination for beginner- and family-friendly ski experiences. For more information, please call 610-682-7100 or visit
Southern Management Companies is one of the largest privately-owned residential property management companies in the U.S. The company owns and manages 77 apartment home communities comprising of more than 25,000 apartment homes throughout the Baltimore-Washington region. In addition to residential property ownership and management, Southern Management owns and manages commercial properties as well as four hotels and conference centers. To learn more, visit