Straight Up Snowmass: Putting Aspen’s best foot forward
Editor’s note: Straight Up Snowmass is a weekly series spotlighting people who live and/or work in Snowmass Village.
Like a lot of Snowmass Village residents, John Rigney moved here with plans to stay for a season, working tickets at Aspen Highlands.
But as often happens, plans changed. He stayed on and kept working for Aspen Skiing Co., met his wife, Anna, began working for the company’s events department and moved his family to the village. In 2001, he took over events for the company, and in 2006 he was promoted to vice president.
Recently at a dinner for Skico employees with two decades of tenure, Rigney said it struck him how much time has passed.
“I was looking around at guys I started with 25 years ago,” he said. “It’s amazing how quickly it’s gone by. I definitely feel lucky.”
Rigney took over the events department around the time that ESPN brought the X Games to Aspen. Now the company has expanded to include a wide range of events, from Big Rail Fridays on Snowmass to hosting NASTAR to World Cup races.
While Rigney is involved in various aspects of each event, he credits his team with their success.
“I truly have the best team in the industry working with me,” he said.
A lot of the job, particularly with X Games, includes coordinating with local municipalities and with ESPN to pull off a great event.
“We’re the ones that do business here 365 days a year, so I’ve got to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible, not just for the television audience but for the local community as well,” Rigney said.
While that would be enough, Rigney is also highly involved in the community. A soccer coach for his three sons for over 10 years, he also sits on the boards for Aspen Junior Hockey, Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, and Snowmass Discovery.
When they’re not on the road for one of the boys’ sporting events — or sometimes in between games on the weekends — Rigney said his family loves to get outside together, be it skiing, mountain biking, camping or playing sports.
“I think it’s an unbelievable experience,” the New Jersey native said of raising his family in Aspen/Snowmass. “The opportunities afforded our kids are amazing.
“The schools are great. The community is filled with connected, active parents. So many of my friends are also coaches and volunteers and play active roles in their kid’s lives. And to think of the world-class recreation that is just at everyone’s fingertips … I couldn’t think of a better place to grow up.”
Written arguments between the town of Snowmass Village and the Krabloonik dog-sledding operation were filed last week in a ramp-up to a key hearing in the coming months.