In this episode Nicole and Sarah host Katie Ertl, the SVP of Mountain Operations at Aspen Skiing Company. Aspen Skiing Company includes 4 mountains, across 8 miles — Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk.
Katie grew up in the Aspen Valley, her mom was a ski instructor and she taught Katie and her twin sister from the age of 3. She went on to alpine ski race.
Katie taught ski lessons in college, and after graduating decided to continue down that path. Katie coached kids ski racing in Australia and loved it so much she went back and forth coaching between Aspen and Australia.
Katie worked her way into ski school management and concurrently became a ski instructor educator, giving clinics to ski instructors through PSIA. That led Katie to her role overseeing the 4 ski schools at Aspen Skiing Company - and their 1,300 instructors! After 12 years in this role she moved to her current role, as the SVP of Mountain Operations.
Katie explains the role of Mountain Operations - which includes everything related to the mountain infrastructure, from getting the lifts running every morning, to grooming the hill and guest services. Aspen Skiiing Company is undergoing a 180 acre expansion called Pandoras, which is keeping Katie busy.
Katie walks us through the history of the 4 mountains. She describes how the various mountains are situated and what makes each mountain and town unique. We also learn about the sustainability programs that Aspen Skiing is involved in across the valley and more broadly.
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