Snowmass history: Marketing Maestro John Cooley |

Snowmass history: Marketing Maestro John Cooley

John Cooley.
Aspen Historical Society |

John Cooley, Marketing Director for the Janss Colorado Corporation, spoke with George Madsen for his KSNO Commentary program on Sept. 28, 1966, which was recorded for the Aspen Historical Society to document history in the making.

He recounts that although Bill Janss conceived of the project in the late 1950s, it wasn’t until the early 1960s that he began negotiating joint operations with the Aspen Skiing Corporation to open Snowmass-at-Aspen. Cooley updated folks about the status of the project as of the fall of 1966 with construction finished on the first three lifts going up to Sam’s Knob as well as an 8,100-square-foot restaurant on top of the knob.

The Janss Corp. had started a snowmelt study at a test site for the roads and parking lots around the ski area — which was extremely new, groundbreaking technology — and what later became the ultimate solution for the steep pitch of Carriage Way Road (often referred to as “Snowmelt Road”). “First Village” had all the groundwork complete to start building the framework.

The golf course landscape was being completed as well in order to start seeding in the spring, though it would not be ready to open until the summer of 1968. Converting to mostly wood construction instead of cement allowed the project another summer to build. They designed and built all the buildings in village 1, with eight sites identified and plans for villages 2 and 3 drawn.

A convention center also was planned to be constructed and ready by opening. Long-term plans included “activities and facilities for year-round enjoyment.”