The grand negotiator: Mike Dudick’s journey to acquire back regulate from alcoholic beverages

Breckenridge Grand Vacations CEO Mike Dudick stands in entrance of the “Let it Snow” Ullr sculpture Nov. 19 at the Grand Colorado on Peak 8 resort. Dudick shared his wrestle with alcoholism as aspect of the Faces of Hope series, a partnership between Constructing Hope Summit County and the Summit Day-to-day News.
Photograph by Liam Doran / Liam Doran Photography

By all accounts, Mike Dudick is an exceptional negotiator. He’s a productive marketer, manager and developer, a generous philanthropist, active neighborhood chief, and CEO and co-proprietor of Breckenridge Grand Holidays, the most significant year-round employer in Summit County outdoors of the ski locations.

But when it arrived to alcohol, Mike’s competencies unsuccessful him.

“Alcohol was generally the improved negotiator,” he stated. “It obtained me to slash all sorts of specials with myself to have a further 7 days, just a further day of drinking. If you get to that stage like I did, where you’re negotiating between on your own and alcoholic beverages, I guarantee you are going to keep on to drop that negotiation. And it is a wonderful breakthrough moment when you recognize you are under no circumstances going to win without the need of assistance.”

Now two decades sober and intensely grateful for the variations it has introduced to his lifestyle, the 55-year-aged is sharing his recovery journey. Mike is articulate about his romance with liquor and passionate about aiding some others who’ve also dropped their capability to negotiate with the substance.

“Addiction is indiscriminate, irrespective of your posture in the group,” he mentioned. “It can happen to any individual. It happened to me. Alcoholic beverages received management of me, and I had to acquire it again.”

Embracing a occasion society

Mike located his way to Breckenridge 32 yrs in the past in much the exact same way lots of community longtimers did: He came on a college or university ski trip and fundamentally never ever remaining. Back then, Breckenridge was a laid-again very little city with a one stoplight, but it was comprehensive of prospect for a youthful gentleman with a university diploma, an entrepreneurial spirit and a boatload of electrical power.

In those early times, he worked at a liquor keep and tended bar at what was then Adams St. Grill on Primary Road. He fulfilled his to start with spouse and had Michael, 31, Sam, 28, and Chloe, 26, in rapid succession. Figuring out that raising 3 kids on bartender tips was unsustainable, Mike launched Breckenridge Magazine in 1988, educating himself graphic structure, advert profits and the publishing company, all the though continuing to bartend and adjust diapers in the middle of the night time.

It was all through this sleepless 10-year span with the magazine that he satisfied and turned amazed with developer brothers Rob and Mike Millisor, who at the time owned the Gold Place condos on Bald Mountain and were being beginning do the job on the Grand Timber Lodge.

“I was growing weary of the advert business enterprise,” Mike claimed. “I was all set to do anything diverse, so I bought my company, invested my proceeds with Mike and Rob, and took around advertising for them when Grand Timber Lodge was just a gap in the floor.”

That was 23 decades ago. Grand Timber opened in 1998, and the staff went on to open up the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 in 2007 and the Grand Colorado on Peak 8 in 2015.

Mike met Anna, his 2nd spouse, for the duration of this time. She and Mike fulfilled, fell in love and had been married in 2005. They have a son with each other, Henry, 13.

Mike describes daily life for the duration of these heady situations, when every thing was falling into location for him individually and professionally:

“The organization had a ‘Let’s work tough and celebration harder’ variety of tradition,” he said. “When BGV started off having off, we had been all in our mid- to late 30s, early 40s. We have been bulletproof, items were great, absolutely everyone was having a fantastic time, the business enterprise was effective, we experienced good personnel. … That said, everyone around here understood when it was 5 o’clock. We would go across the road, have a couple on the way home — that sort of thing.”

Breckenridge Grand Vacations CEO Mike Dudick shared his wrestle with alcoholism as portion of the Faces of Hope collection, a partnership involving Setting up Hope Summit County and the Summit Every day Information.
Image by Liam Doran / Liam Doran Pictures

Getting the highway to recovery

As the business enterprise grew to become extra established, with competent leaders in important roles, Mike’s absolutely free time grew and so did his liquor intake.

“Mike was a remarkably performing alcoholic,” Anna stated.

Mike’s wake-up simply call arrived in the kind of a blackout evening of ingesting in October 2018. The next morning, he couldn’t keep in mind just about anything from the night just before.

“With alcoholic beverages, I didn’t have an on and off switch,” Mike mentioned. “I did not have a rheostat that allows me observe my consuming. I bought to a issue in which I considered I could harm myself or another person else by executing a thing stupid. …

“My spouse and children eventually explained, ‘You will need to quit.’ And I mentioned, ‘You’re ideal I do.’ I didn’t combat. I realized it was coming. There was no sit-down drama like on reality reveals. This was my instant. I desired to prevent.”

He began a 12-stage procedure system two days afterwards, and though he felt the method wasn’t right for him, he vigorously defends Alcoholics Nameless.

“There requires to be a judgment-cost-free zone about AA,” he said. “Whatever works for the personal operates. My father and lots of pals are devoted AA members … and it operates great for them and thousands and thousands of men and women all-around the globe. But it did not get the job done for me, and that’s Okay.

“There are a lot of paths to restoration, no 1-dimensions-fits-all. If it’s the 12-action program, great. Set as many tools in your tool chest give oneself a preventing prospect.”

Mike later on transferred to an Atlanta-centered Accelerated Restoration Heart, an in-affected individual treatment method devoted solely to alcoholic beverages dependence. Mike stayed for 12 times and was grateful for the brevity and for what he considered successful procedure.

For Anna, it was the original problem they requested that impressed her: “Are you ready to unconditionally shift forward and not converse about the earlier any more?”

“It took me a tiny little bit due to the fact I experienced anger about the previous, but I realized there’s no level in that,” Anna mentioned. “Mike couldn’t alter it he could not management it. We just necessary to shift forward.”

Mike used 8 several hours a day for two months in intensive education and remedy, mastering about the disorder and obtaining counseling and treatment to halt cravings and minimize anxiety.

He also learned a ton about how alcohol adjustments the brain.

“With dependancy, the opioid receptors in your mind are expressing, ‘Give me extra,’ and there’s a type of shock absorber, which is your brain’s capability to explanation and negotiate,” Mike stated. “That receives more compact and smaller, right until you conclude up in a really messed up place. Your brain craves far more, and you have fewer and a lot less capacity to say ‘no’ to the urge.”

Now, he is on a continual and grateful path to very long-term sobriety.

Breckenridge Grand Vacations CEO Mike Dudick shared his struggle with alcoholism as element of the Faces of Hope collection, a partnership amongst Building Hope Summit County and the Summit Day-to-day News.
Picture by Liam Doran / Liam Doran Photography

Doing work to assist some others

Mike is acutely conscious of the absence of therapy products and services in Summit County and seems ahead to being involved in efforts that can aid other individuals like he’s been helped.

“I consider it is one of the priorities we really require to concentrate on as a neighborhood,” he reported.

For now, Mike’s function is obvious: to give his assist to anybody who wants it.

“I’m below to explain to folks that I had a problem, and I did a thing about it, and if you need support to remedy your problem that you can speak to a man like me,” Mike reported. “I’m not happy of the way I was in advance of, but I’ll consider satisfaction in being able to help even just one human being.”

Anna results in being emotional when asked about how life has improved because Mike’s sobriety.

“Nothing works without Mike in our spouse and children,” she stated. “He’s our chief, our protector and caretaker, and I turned nervous when I felt that becoming threatened. He had been that way for us for 10-12 yrs prior to his consuming progressed. Now I consider our kids and I know he’s reliable, he’s there, and he’s going to choose treatment of almost everything. And which is who I married. It’s awesome to be with the man I married.

“He’s a rock. He wasn’t there for a minor little bit, but now he’s extra reliable than at any time.”

Editor’s take note: This is a shortened variation of a story composed by Suzanne Acker, a distinctive tasks author for Building Hope Summit County. Examine Mike Dudick’s comprehensive story and view a video job interview with him at