Familiar Skico faces take helm at different places
November 22, 2006
Some familiar faces popped up in different places for the Aspen Skiing Co. this season.Steve Sewell’s smiling mug won’t be seen much on the slopes of Aspen Mountain anymore. He was transferred to Snowmass to oversee its massive revitalization effort.Peter King, a former mountain manager at Buttermilk, was promoted as Sewell’s replacement at Ajax.Both moves were triggered by Doug MacKenzie’s decision to step back from the day-to-day management of Snowmass. MacKenzie bowed out as general manager of Snowmass this season and is managing special projects there.When he made that decision, Skico brass asked Sewell if he wanted to transfer from Ajax to Snowmass, to head the much larger operation. Sewell said he didn’t hesitate, primarily because he was so familiar with Snowmass’ slopes. He worked there for 24 years before heading to Ajax.
He started as a ski patroller, advanced to the role of patrol director, then became an assistant to the mountain manager.”A lot of the people I worked with are still here,” Sewell said, calling it a very talented veteran staff.Sewell left Snowmass for seven years as mountain manager at Aspen Mountain. He said he loves Snowmass’ diversity and abundance of terrain. Snowmass offers 3,128 acres compared to the 673 acres of Aspen Mountain.”There’s stuff to keep [guests] occupied for days and days and days,” he said.Skico president and chief executive officer Mike Kaplan said Sewell was “a good fit” at Snowmass because of his experience there and his knowledge of all aspects of mountain operations.
“In addition, as a long time resident, Steve is fully immersed in the community, and he has a very close connection to our guests, local and out of town,” Kaplan wrote in an e-mail interview. “In essence, he has the technical expertise that complex operation demands, as well as the personal style and skills to represent the operation within the community and our guests.”King said he is thrilled to get back to running a ski area. He headed on-mountain food and beverage operations for the last six years.King has been with the Skico for 33 years. He started in 1973 as a ski instructor at Buttermilk and worked up the ranks there. In 1982 he was promoted to director of the Aspen Mountain ski school and he stayed in that post until 1989. He managed the Buttermilk ski school from 1989 to 1999, then switched to food and beverage.He said he is thrilled to head operations at Aspen Mountain, his personal favorite for skiing when he wasn’t on the clock.”It’s got a character and personality of its own,” he said. “It’s just exciting all the time.”
Kaplan said King was selected to head Aspen Mountain because of his diverse background. “PK understands the intangible attributes that make Aspen Mountain unique and will be able to balance preservation of character with continuous improvement of the guest experience,” Kaplan said.Sewell and King aren’t the only changes in Skico management. President and CEO Pat O’Donnell retired this month, and the Crown family, 100 percent owners of the Skico, promoted Kaplan from second in command.Kaplan promoted David Perry to senior vice president, mountain division. Rich Burkley was promoted to vice president, mountain operations and will report to Perry. Jeanne Mackowski was promoted to vice president, marketing.Scott Condon’s e-mail address is email@example.com.The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.