I have recently learned Les Otten is running for the office of governor of Maine. I worked for him in the early 1990s as senior vice president of marketing and sales for Sunday River Ski Resort, and have been a resort executive for the past 30 years, most recently at Kirkwood Mountain Resort near Lake Tahoe, Calif.

What Otten did for the Maine tourism industry was nothing short of amazing — turning a tiny day area into one of the most successful resorts in America. He focused on an expansive market-friendly trail system, and provided a vastly superior surface to any other New England resort. He won over skiers from the lucrative Massachusetts market, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars into the state of Maine in the process. When the rest of New England couldn’t sell a condo, Les built hundreds of low priced units New England families could afford, introducing the concept of ski in/ski out to the East.

Les Otten will always be remembered in our industry as a giant, someone who understood the customer better than anyone else, and was unwavering in his focus and passion to deliver the best skiing product east of the Mississippi.

The terrific state of Maine will reach more goals and achieve more success with Les Otten as governor, and no one who knows of his life’s work well enough to render an experienced opinion can dispute that.

Tim Cohee, Gardnerville, Nevada

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