Beathard: Meet the woman behind the curtain

Jill Beathard
Beathard’s Banter
Jill Beathard

It feels a little strange that I would be starting a column the week that I have possibly been most absent from Snowmass Village since joining this little paper.

Last week, I was homebound for a few days recovering from wisdom-tooth extraction — not an experience I would recommend to anyone. Being still pretty drugged up for the following days, I haven’t gotten in the car and driven up to the Village in over 10 days.

My wonderful colleagues at The Aspen Times stepped up and made sure that coverage of Snowmass Village went on as usual, and so hopefully my absence wasn’t too obvious to anyone who picked up the Sun last week.

However, I kind of hope some of you did notice I was gone.

You see, when I first started at the Snowmass Sun, I had a lot of skeptics. I didn’t live in Snowmass, and my office was in Aspen, and to some residents that equated to being totally clueless about what goes on and what’s important in the village.

So I made it my mission to get to know this little mountain community, which turned out to be a much more profound task than I knew. I made an effort to hike there on my days off, go to all the Thursday-night concerts and have lunch at all the restaurants when there on the job.

These days, I don’t feel I make a point to come up as much as I just sort of end up there naturally, for business or pleasure. By now, hopefully most of you know my face or at least my voice on the other end of the phone line. But, just in case, I’m starting this column so that you can get to know me and what I’m about a little better.

I’m a native of a little town north of Dallas that you’ve probably never heard of. No, I don’t have an accent, because my parents are from Ohio and I spent my earliest years there, but I do say “y’all” and sometimes “howdy.” The latter I learned attending school at Texas A&M University, where I majored in English, sang in a choir and worked far too many hours at the student newspaper.

I grew up skiing in Vail — I know, I know — and wanted to move to Colorado after college. I knew I didn’t want to end up in Vail, but I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to live in a ski town, Front Range city, or where — just near mountains. I sent my resume out to as many newspapers as I could find job listings in, some without any positions advertised, and while interning at the Vail Daily, got offered a copy editor position at The Aspen Times.

For not even really knowing much about the places I was applying, I sure got lucky winding up here. I initially sent my resume to the Times in hopes of landing the Snowmass Sun editor position, but at the time, they wanted someone with more real-world experience. A year later, when the job was once again available, our then general manager approached me and asked me to apply once again.

Running this little weekly has offered me the opportunity to learn about music, outdoors, local politics and high-dollar business ventures. It is both a burden and a pleasure to be almost solely responsible for a newspaper, and it has certainly forced me to grow in the past two years.

I’m greatly looking forward to what else you bring my way, Snowmass Village. Hopefully this column will open some dialogue about village issues, and hopefully I’m mildly entertaining. At the very least, after two years, it’s about time I started one.

Jill Beathard is the editor of the Snowmass Sun. Contact her at