Beaver Creek workers gather to dedicate run in honor of Gary Shimanowitz |

Beaver Creek workers gather to dedicate run in honor of Gary Shimanowitz

Beaver Creek COO Nadia Guerriero dedicates the run Gary's on Thursday in honor of Gary Shimanowitz. Shimanowitz worked for Vail Resorts for 31 years and died of natural causes while working at Beaver Creek during the 2021-22 season.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Sunbeams hit a thin layer of snow atop the freshly groomed trail “Gary’s” Thursday morning at Beaver Creek as Nadia Guerriero, the resort’s COO, addressed a small group of workers who gathered to remember their former colleague.

Calling it a glorious day, she told the crowd that Gary Shimanowitz, who helped make Beaver Creek what it is today, now has a ski run named after him on the mountain. Shimanowitz collapsed while on the job last season at Beaver Creek and could not be revived.

“Gary started as a ski patroller here at Beaver Creek in 1990, and he spent the next 32 years giving his life, his energy, his everything to these mountains,” Guerriero said.

Guerriero, who spoke underneath the trail’s new sign, said it was a fitting day for the Gary’s run dedication.

“This is an especially meaningful run because it was one of his favorites and he really loved it when it was groomed,” she said. “This is one of the original runs on our mountain from Opening Day at Beaver Creek, and it runs alongside other legends — Addy’s and Helmut’s.

Support Local Journalism

A crowd of Beaver Creek workers and friends of Gary Shimanowitz gather at the entrance to Gary’s on Thursday. Gary’s can be accessed from the Centennial Express lift, seen in the background.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, though, that it is the longest of the three,” Guerriero added, receiving a round of laughs.

Shimanowitz — a memorable figure at 6 feet, 7 inches — spent much of his 31 years with Vail Resorts at Beaver Creek, but also worked for Breckenridge in the mid-2000s as VP of mountain operations, spending eight years there and working on the Peak 6 expansion. He returned to Beaver Creek in the mid-2010s where he worked on another terrain expansion at McCoy Park.

Shimanowitz also served at two Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and Torino, Italy, and his contributions to building the Birds of Prey World Cup race course left a permanent imprint on ski racing.

“His legacy will live on — through this run, this dedication — his legacy both of the way he made our guests and colleagues feel, but also his fingerprints that are all over this mountain, from McCoy Park, certainly, to the Birds of Prey and Raptor race courses,” Guerriero said. “But he also showed up every day with a passion, a pride, in making vacation dreams come true for our guests.”

Beaver Creek Ski Patrol drops the rope on the newly renamed run “Gary’s” on Thursday. The run was named after Beaver Creek’s former vice president of operations, Gary Shimanowitz.
John LaConte/Vail Daily

Guerriero said when she skis Gary’s, she will join many others in thinking of Shimanowitz while she is doing so.

“I know he would also take so much joy in seeing this thing groomed wall to wall for him today,” she said.

As skiers and snowboarders took to the run following Guerriero’s remarks, the anthem from “Top Gun” — one of Shimanowitz’s favorites — played in the background.

Gary’s is located between the Latigo and Addy’s trails and can be accessed from the top of the Centennial Express lift.

Support Local Journalism