Skico honors ‘Coach’ with Beattie Way, renames ski run
As the opening ceremony began for Aspen’s first World Cup in six years, there was a changing of guard, or rather, a changing of names. Aspen Snowmass renamed East 5th Avenue Trail on Aspen Mountain to Beattie Way.
It was fitting for the bottom of the World Cup ski course, as Beattie’s legacy is deeply rooted with the U.S. ski team.
Bob Beattie, an American ski icon and local Coloradan, was head coach of the U.S. Ski Team from 1961 to 1969 and co-founded the Alpine Skiing World Cup in 1966. He was a ski racing commentator for ABC including four Winter Olympic Games from 1976 to 1988.
Beattie managed the World Pro Ski Tour until 1982 and also authored or co-authored three books, including “My Ten Secrets of Skiing” (1968) and “Bob Beattie’s Learn to Ski” (1967).
Jim Crown, managing partner of Aspen Skiing Co. and whose family owns Aspen Skiing Co., welcomed the crowd.
“My family and I have been part of the Aspen skiing company for almost half of its existence over 38 years. But there are more people behind the story than our 38 years here. When we talk about competitive skiing, welcome skiing racing, there is one name that stands out as a giant is an absolute hero. And that’s Bob.”
Crown added, “It’s not often we change names or add names to rooms on Aspen Mountain. But what could be more fitting than to have the bottom of the downhill course. And what used to be known as East Fifth Avenue change to honor the person who did more for World Cup skiing in America than any single person.”
Colorado had been Beattie’s home for 30 years until he died at age 85 on April 1, 2018, in Fruita.
He often was referred to simply as “Coach,” and he mastered the role.
In 1961, he was named head alpine coach for the U.S. Ski Team. At the 1964 Olympics in Innsbruck, Austria, he produced four medal winners, including the first two U.S. men to receive medals, Billy Kidd and Jimmie Heuga.
In 1984, Beattie was inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame.
Beattie’s son, Zeno, said he was humbled and excited to share in the enthusiasm of the crowd.
“We grew up racing. You name it, there was skiing,” Zeno Beattie said. “He was all about it and we miss him in the sport. I think it’s been four years since he’s gone, but we’re really happy that the races are back. We’d like to thank the John Rigney and also the US Ski Team. They do a great job.”