Timberline Exec Skis on the Job
By Ty Walker
Most people have to take a day off from work to go skiing midweek. Not John Burton. As Director of Marketing and Public Affairs at Timberline Lodge, he skis on the job three or four days a week, giving tours of the ski resort.
Burton said he is probably happiest when he’s outdoors doing something active. Working at the world-renowned ski resort on the south slope of the tallest mountain in Oregon gives him plenty of time for just that.
“It’s really special when I get a day off and go skiing with my son,” Burton said. “Those are the best days ever.”
Burton describes his job as being responsible for driving revenue while promoting and protecting the brand of Timberline Lodge.
Originally from the east coast, Burton moved to Oregon in 1988 and graduated from Oregon State University. He has a strong background in advertising sales and marketing, where he did a lot of work in the ski resort industry.
“I just happened to know some people at Timberline and an opportunity presented itself and here I am eight and a half years later,” Burton said.
The 55,000-square-foot, 4-story Timberline Lodge, built in 1937 from heavy timber and boulders, is a National Historic Landmark. Burton said it’s the only ski-in, ski-out resort in the Pacific Northwest. That means you can ski from your room at the lodge directly to the chairlift.
Burton said he loves his job and speaks highly of the family-operated business and its investment in the community.
“I love it,” he said. “I hope to sunset my career here at Timberline. The family are wonderful people to work for and continue to reinvest in the area. They are true stewards of Mount Hood and giving back to the area.”
Burton is excited about two major projects under way at Timberline. The new pool, which replaces one built in 1958, is expected to be completed in a few weeks. The new gondola, which will carry guests from Summit Pass to the lodge, is expected to be up and running by 2028.
Timberline has an array of recreational activities for visitors year-round. Summer is actually its busiest season, as hikers, climbers and mountain bikers outnumber the skiers and snowboarders.
“It’s a unique mix of guests at Timberline in the summer,” Burton said. “You see people in the parking lot with skis, mountain bikers, hikers, culinary enthusiasts and everyone in between.”
Olympic skiers and snowboarders train during summer months on Palmer Snowfields, Timberline’s highest elevation slope. For those athletes looking for training opportunities in the Northern Hemisphere, “we’re it,” he said.
“Not to mention it’s a world-class product, we build and maintain the only Olympic-spec super halfpipe in the summer,” Burton said.
Timberline is known for its intermediate-level, family-friendly skiing and its world-class terrain parks.
Burton lives in Hood River with his son, a junior in high school. Besides skiing, he enjoys wind-surfing, fishing and doing projects around the house.