The top 5 most-read stories: Aspen Skiing Co. names new CEO; Victim of head-on collision sues High Mountain Taxi and ex-cabbie
We’ve rounded up the top five most-read stories on Aspentimes.com from last week.
1.) New CEO of Aspen Snowmass to lead mountain operations
Aspen Skiing Co. has lured away a top executive from Vail Resorts Inc.’s Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, one of the largest ski resorts in North America.
Skico announced Tuesday it had named Geoff Buchheister as the new CEO to run its mountain operations, following a search that began after Mike Kaplan announced his retirement in March 2022. Buchheister adds another piece to the structural changes that have been taking place at Skico, which included establishing its Aspen Hospitality division, led by CEO Alinio Azevedo, and AspenX, led by COO Darcy Loeb.
Buchheister, 48, had been chief operating officer at the 8,100-acre Whistler Blackcomb since November 2019.
— Rick Carroll
2.) Ex-cabbie, High Mountain Taxi sued over drunken-driving head-on collision
The victim of a head-on collision is suing High Mountain Taxi and an ex-cab driver who pleaded guilty to driving under the influence on Castle Creek Road the night of the crash.
Aspen resident Kenneth Dahlberg was behind the wheel of a 2011 Toyota Sienna and driving for High Mountain Taxi when the vehicle spun out of control and collided with a 2013 Jeep Wrangler, according to a police report and the victim’s lawsuit.
After impact, the Sienna spun clockwise and slid 67 feet before coming to a final rest, positioned upright, on the west shoulder of the road, the suit said. The Jeep, driven by a Garfield County resident, slid 25 feet, finishing upright on the road’s east shoulder.
3.) First World Cup race off: If you want a powder day, schedule a downhill
The weather didn’t cooperate for the long-awaited return of World Cup ski racing to Aspen, as the 2023 Stifel America’s Downhill was canceled early Friday afternoon. Just 24 racers, out of a field of 59 competitors, started the mile-and-a-half run down the face of Aspen Mountain; 30 starters were needed to make the race official.
The cancellation denied 28-year-old Adrian Smiseth Sejersted of Norway, who was first out of the start gate and posted a time of 1:31.24, a possible World Cup victory. Austrian Vincent Kriechmayr stood in second with a time of 1:31.50 and American Ryan Cochran-Siegle was in the bronze medal position, 1:31.84, when the race was canceled.
Cochran-Siegle, who ran fifth, was able to ski before the wind kicked up and the visibility dropped. He sat in second until Kriechmayr, the Austrian veteran, pushed him into the third-place spot.
4.) How Aspen council candidates will solve the affordable housing crisis
The cornerstone of all Aspen issues is affordable housing. Without a place to live, child care, locals-focused shops and restaurants, and traffic management are not relevant to Aspen voters.
And many City Council members maintain that affordable housing is among the most important issues the body faces.
Currently, the Aspen Pitkin County Housing Authority has 3,200 in the program. According to the strategic plan, 72% of deed-restricted units are within the City of Aspen.
5.) What’s next for legalized psilocybin? An Aspen panel discusses long, messy road ahead
The passage of Proposition 122 in November marked a long, strange trip for Colorado. But it appears that trip has just begun, stumbling out of the gate.
The regulators responsible for setting the rules governing psilocybin use have told the Legislature they have little to no clue how to do that. There is no timeline for the state Senate to approve Gov. Jared Polis’ 15-member Natural Medicine Advisory Board, which includes Aspen City Councilman Skippy Mesirow.
That’s just the start of the hurdles to Colorado’s work to build a legal industry in the coming years around psychedelics as medicine.