Whistler Blackcomb’s COO Lured by Aspen

Whistler Blackcomb’s chief operating officer and vice president, Geoff Buchheistera, has been lured by Aspen Colorado, Vail Resorts announced earlier today.

“We are incredibly grateful to Geoff and everything he’s contributed over the last eight years at Vail Resorts, and certainly for the impact he’s had at Whistler Blackcomb over the last four years,” said Doug Pierini, for Vail Resorts.

Buchheister, 48, had been chief operating officer at the 8,100-acre Whistler Blackcomb since November 2019.

Skico, Aspen’s parent company, announced Tuesday it had named Buchheister as its new CEO, following a search that began in March 2022.

In a statement, Buchheister said: “I’m incredibly excited to be returning to Colorado and joining the Aspen Skiing Company. I feel a strong connection to the values that the Crown family brings to this organization, and I look forward to being part of this team. Aspen has such deep history, built by a community that loves and celebrates its unique mountain culture. I’m humbled to have the opportunity to listen and learn as I integrate into the company and the community.”

Buchheister gained most of his professional experience at Park City, Utah, where he worked in various leadership roles, Skico said. He began working for Vail Resorts when the company bought Park City Mountain Resort in 2014.

Jim Crown of the Crown family, the owners of Skico, said in a statement: “While this process took longer than expected, we firmly believe it was worth the wait. In the end, we found the ideal candidate to lead our ski and summer-time mountain operations into the future. Geoff has a long history in the industry, a true passion for the sport, and understands the importance of long-term planning, community relations, and the role employees play in delivering guests a world-class experience.”

Buchheister’s background apparently suits him well for his next challenge. He is a Colorado native and grew up in Winter Park, where his father was a resort executive for 44 years. He was a three-time all-American ski racer at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his wife, Tina grew up ski racing in Slovenia and was a NCAA All-American for the University of Utah. Their 16-year-old daughter, Stella, skis for Team Summit Colorado and is on the national development group for the U.S. Ski Team. Thirteen-year-old Luka, their son, has been racing with the Whistler Mountain Ski Club in British Columbia.

Buchheister begins work with Skico on Wednesday. The Crown family has owned Skico’s four local ski areas — Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Snowmass — since 1993. The Crowns initially started with Snowmass, Aspen Mountain and Buttermilk in 1983.

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