Skico CEO reveals the secret behind his smile |

Skico CEO reveals the secret behind his smile

Scott Condon

You might notice Aspen Skiing Co. chief executive officer Pat O’Donnell smiling a lot these days. It has nothing to do with advanced lift ticket sales or the renaissance of Snowmass. It’s because of painkillers.

“I had no idea how good Percocet is,” a smiling O’Donnell told the crowd at Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s annual membership luncheon Thursday.O’Donnell has his left arm in a sling so when he spoke at the luncheon, he had to talk about the injury. He said he had shoulder surgery in July that was, in short, gruesome.

He told his doctor in advance that he had never taken painkillers; his doctor assured him that would change with this procedure. O’Donnell repeated that he doesn’t do painkillers; his doc repeated he would start.The surgeon was right.

O’Donnell joked that he’s coming up with all sorts of “new and strange ideas” in his altered state of mind. He tries to bring up the revelations in staff meetings, when he can remember them and stay awake, he said.O’Donnell fessed up after addressing the ACRA members that the story is somewhat embellished. He only took the painkillers for a day or two after the surgery. Otherwise the tough-as-nails CEO will grit it out during the four months of recovery.