New mountain managers for Snowmass, Ajax
Snowmass and Aspen Mountain have new mountain managers, though the staffing changes are only a shakeup among longtime employees of the Aspen Skiing Co.
Doug Mackenzie, a Skico employee for nearly four decades, is scaling back his work schedule to take the position of special projects manager at Snowmass.
He will work closely with Skico’s planning and development office regarding on-mountain improvements at Snowmass, including lift replacements and the new gondola at Elk Camp.
Steve Sewell is moving from his job as mountain manager at Ajax to take that position at Snowmass. The mountain manager handles all day-to-day operations at a given ski area.
Peter King, who has held the post of food and beverage manager for Skico since 1999 and managed Buttermilk for nine years before that, will become mountain manager at Aspen Mountain.
The three employees have almost 100 years of experience among them. The changes are effective Sept. 1.
There had been rumors recently that Mackenzie would be retiring sometime soon, but he did not want to put a specific date on it.
“I’m turning 65 this winter, I’ll be a grandfather this week,” Mackenzie said. He said changes and construction at Snowmass are probably six or seven years from completion.
“It’s probably time to bring someone up to speed,” he said.
Mackenzie was referring to the amount of work going into the $400 million Base Village. The development entails 1 million square feet of retail space, restaurants, condominiums, a new ski school, conference center and eight-passenger Elk Camp gondola.
“With all the stuff going on out there, it’ll be very exciting,” said Sewell, who, as mountain manager, will oversee all Skico projects on the mountain.
Mackenzie said all the construction will likely keep him extremely busy, though Sewell will have his old duties.
“There’s plenty of work for everybody,” he said. “Steve is going to run this mountain. If he needs help, I’ll be around.”
Mackenzie has worked for Skico since 1967 and been mountain manager of Snowmass since 1997. He has also been director of the children’s ski school at Snowmass, the Snowmass ski school director and assistant mountain manager.
King started at the Buttermilk ski school in 1973. He was ski school director at Buttermilk and Aspen Mountain before becoming mountain manager of Buttermilk from 1990-99.
Sewell first started working on the Snowmass ski patrol in 1977. He was named mountain manager there in 1998 and moved to Aspen Mountain as manager in 1999.
“It’s a positive move,” Mackenzie said, adding that he is glad Sewell was coming back to Snowmass. “It’s seen that way by everyone who works on this mountain.”
Joel Stonington’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
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The city of Aspen is contributing $1 million to a CDOT project that will see concrete instead of asphalt at the roundabout into town.