Sixty years worth celebrating
Aspen, CO ColoradoFor 60 years now, Aspen has been home to the headquarters of a cutting-edge firm that has transformed the ski industry.Actually, Aspen has been home to two companies – Sport Obermeyer and the Aspen Skiing Co. – that have, over the last six decades, radically transformed the sport of skiing. But this particular editorial is concerned with the firm that invented down parkas, sun block and reflective sunglasses – Sport Obermeyer.In 1947, Klaus Obermeyer, a German immigrant who was teaching skiing on Aspen Mountain, began producing parkas after noticing how uncomfortable his students were from spending their days out in the cold. He turned his home into a warehouse and played the role of designer, laborer, salesman and distributor as he built his company from scratch. Eventually, the firm grew to a point where Klaus could quit his job with the Aspen Skiing Corp., as it was known in those days. Sport Obermeyer was on its way.Today, about 50 people work at Sport Obermeyer’s headquarters at the Aspen Business Center. They design and market the company’s wares, manage its business operations, coordinate manufacturing and distribution, and maintain relationships with hundreds of retail outlets around the world.Sport Obermeyer is an important part our community. It adds weight to Aspen’s reputation as a winter resort to have a major player in ski and snowboard apparel based here. Being home to a company that actually manufacturers relevant and useful goods makes Aspen a more interesting and vital place.So, as the company embarks on another year in business in Aspen, we would like to say thanks to Klaus and all of his hardworking employees who, over the last 60 years, have made skiing and snowboarding a lot more comfortable and stylish. You have been an important part of our community, and helped make Aspen different (and better) than every other winter resort in the world.
This wasn’t my best work. I still stand by my original picks to win each of the snowboard contests at X Games Aspen 2023, but fate chose poorly. The main lesson? Don’t pick against Mark McMorris, Marcus Kleveland or Scotty James, unless you have a very good reason.