Aspen Mountain’s Patrick Cooke named “Snowmaker of the Year” by Colorado Ski Country USA

Trade group honors industry standouts in annual awards

Aspen Mountain's Patrick Cooke has been named "Snowmaker of the Year" in the annual Colorado Ski Country USA Double Diamond Awards.
Chris Schneider/Colorado Ski Country USA

Aspen Mountain’s Patrick Cooke is this year’s “Snowmaker of the Year” in the annual Colorado Ski Country USA Double Diamond Awards, the trade group announced Friday.

The honors went to eight different “on-mountain and guest services professionals for their exemplary commitment to their resorts, their guests and the ski industry as a whole,” according to a news release.

“Over his years at Aspen Mountain, Patrick has been instrumental in the enhancement of the resort’s snowmaking platform, installing new lines, pumps, and communications upgrades,” the release states. “The excellent product Aspen is able to produce is a testament to Patrick and his team’s knowledge and dedication. Members of his crew are thrilled to work with him, and say they will continue to come back to his team year after year.”

Other award recipients from the world of mountain operations include Monarch Mountain’s Kannon​​ Thompson for “Groomer of the Year,” Steamboat Resort’s Brian Tedoldi for “Terrain Master of the Year,” Copper Mountain’s Michael Zehnder for “Food and Beverage Professional of the Year,” Winter Park’s Tom Hickok for “Instructor of the Year” and Arapahoe Basin’s Lindsay Wiebold for “Patroller of the Year.”

The awards also honored Steamboat’s retiring vice president of human resources, Trish Sullivan, with the President’s Award and attorney and ski-safety advocate Peter Rietz with the Chairman’s Award.

“Each year, coaches, resort supervisors and managers nominate one outstanding candidate from each category from their respective resorts” for the awards, according to the Colorado Ski Country USA website.

The awards were held in the afternoon after Colorado Ski Country USA’s annual meeting in Denver on June 10. The group includes 22 members, four of which are Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk Ski Area and Snowmass Ski Area. Sunlight Mountain Resort in Glenwood Springs also is a member.

The meeting earlier that day featured three ski resort chiefs — including Rana Dershowitz, Skico’s chief legal officer and chief operating officer for the mountain division — who were scheduled to speak on “building the future of Colorado skiing.”