SNOWMASS VILLAGE - "Choose a job you love and you will never work another day in you life." - Confucius
If only it was so easy for all of us to choose work and careers that are so effortless, we do not think of them as jobs. Bill Madsen lives, breathes and works in that life-mode.
In this case you could say it started with the genes. His parents met each other in the lunchline at the at Aspen Skier's Chalet in the '50s on separate ski vacations. They left town as a couple and returned east long enough to gather a few things and get married.
The Madsens bought a vacant lot at the corner of 5th and Hopkins and built some of the original employee housing for ski-bum workers who made Aspen famous as a ski town. People came and went over the decades, and the Madsen Chalet gradually expanded into nine apartments that are still managed by Mrs. Madsen.
Skiing and ski racing has been in the Madsen family locally for six decades: Bill's dad ran the Aspen Skiing Co.'s marketing department for first DRC Brown then new owners 20th Century Fox. Madsen grew up racing for the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, for the U.S. on the Junior World team, and then for the University of Colorado. And his sister Beth was a national champ in GS and placed seventh in the 1988 Olympics in Calgary. Bill's brother Tim is a surviving member of the ill-fated Mount Everest climb that much has been written about since 1996.
After college, Bill moved back home to Aspen and took an internship with Bob Beattie's company, Worldwide Ski Corporation, at the Aspen Business Center. Beattie was running NASTAR at the time.
"Ski Magazine started NASTAR in 1968," Madsen said. "Ski Magazine is one of many magazines owned by the international publishing company Bonnier. Leisure and entertainment were two areas they focused in. They had Golf magazine so they looked for a scoring system for winter. They looked at different systems, and then they used one based on a handicap system used by the French ski school. It allowed different resorts to race competitively against one another."
Madsen worked on NASTAR and the other promotional events that Beattie's company was involved in for about 10 years before starting his own company.
"My office is at the Snowmass Mall," Madsen said. "What I do is sell NASTAR to all of the ski resorts. Right now we are in about 120 of the 400 total winter resorts in the U.S. All the materials, the software. I get their pacesetters handicapped. Essentially, everything they need to run a NASTAR operation. I also maintain the website. Yeah, I wear a lot of hats."
Madsen is married. He and his wife, Debra, who is a concierge at the Viceroy Snowmass, have three children: Dylan, 24, Sophie, 14, and William, 10.
"I love Snowmass," Madsen said. "When I was growing up in Aspen, Snowmass was like another planet. You go visit your friends in Snowmass, and it was like a weekend commitment. But then I moved out here 15 years ago and Snowmass is a lot like Aspen used to be. Post office. Small community. You know everyone in the grocery store. I just like that small-town feel."
And it's clear that even as an adult, Bill Madsen likes ski racing.
"Oh, these Championships are something I wanted to do for a long time," Madsen said. "In 1998, I did the first open NASTAR public event here in Snowmass. We did it up at the Silvertree and the Conference Center, then it has moved around the West for a number of years. This Base Village is what was needed in order to bring these Championships back to Snowmass."
Snowmass Base Village has been hosting the Championship check-in all week and will be the site of the awards ceremony, special events and a concert later this week.
Steve Alldredge is the former associate editor/reporter for the
Snowmass Sun. He now runs a local communications company whose clients
include Related Colorado. He can be reached at: