Mountain Mayhem: 75 Years of Aspen Snowmass
Last Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, was as special a day I can remember in all my years here. Commemorating the 75th anniversary of Aspen Skiing Company with a ski parade open to all Skico staff and the entire community that threaded its way from the top of Aspen Mountain to the original base of Lift 1 and Willoughby Park for a champagne toast, speeches, photo ops and cheer was the perfect “ski town way” to celebrate.
It felt soulful, respectful of our ski town heritage and history, inclusive and just fun. Mother Nature even pitched in with a Colorado bluebird day over the beautifully blanketed slopes.
As all set off from the top of Ajax, it became a sight to remember with skiers and snowboarders sharing the mountain and descending together all the way down Silver Bell to Deer Park to Spar Gulch, around Kleenex Corner to Tower Ten Road, to Norway Island, past Lift 1A, alongside the now dormant Skier’s Chalet and into Lift 1/Willoughby Park. Many participants brandished Skico’s new uniforms – red for instructors, black and orange for patrol, blue for operations and execs and black for sales and marketing and other behind the scenes staff. Many others wore old school threads like wool pants, vintage ski sweaters and I even noticed one skier with a fedora bedecked with ski pins. Chris Kiley, who recently returned to Aspen to work for Skico as the SVP of planning and development, wore an original Skico uniform jacket from his first season here in 1996-97.
All four speeches were full of character and charisma from Skico CEO Mike Kaplan, White River National Forest Supervisor Scott Fitzwilliams, Aspen Mayor Torre and Jim Crown, managing partner of Aspen Skiing Company and a member of the Crown family who owns Aspen Skiing Company.
I think it’s safe to say Fritz, Fabi, Friedl, Klaus, Stein, D.R.C., Ruthie, Andre, Walter, Elizabeth and so many more of our founding fathers and mothers of Aspen Skiing Company and influential members of our ski town legacy would have approved of and enjoyed the celebration on Jan. 11. The season continues with more occasions to engage and celebrate.
Visit aspensnowmass.com for details.
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