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Big names hit Snowmass slopes for Nike ad

SNOWMASS, Colorado – Ski season is already over at Snowmass Ski Area but it’s still going out with a bang this weekend.

Nike will film a TV commercial at the halfpipe and adjacent terrain park featuring several top skiers and riders, including snowboarders Louie Vito, Danny Kass and Elena Hight, as well as skiers T.J. Schiller, Jossi Wells and Simon Dumont, according to the Aspen Skiing Co. Several of the athletes participated in the Winter Olympics.

“People have been asking me, ‘Why is there a white stripe up on the mountain?'” said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle. The answer is Skico crews have been grooming the halfpipe and terrain around it in preparation for the shoot. It’s left a highly visible white stripe surrounded by dust-stained snow.



While the professional skiers and riders will provide the physical fireworks, the film crew will also use pyrotechnics during the shoot, according to an application submitted to the town of Snowmass Village. “Close proximity fireworks” will be used intermittently on the halfpipe, according to a safety and operation plan by Park Pictures of Santa Monica, Calif. “They are designed for use within 15 feet of an audience and are safe within 5 feet of an individual,” the application says.

The special fireworks are designed to keep the noise level low. They cannot be heard from a distance greater than 300 yards, according to the application. The fireworks will be used on shoots Friday and Sunday nights. All fireworks will be over by 10 p.m., the application said.



Hanle said he didn’t believe the commercial is being shot for any one event. The action by the skiers and riders will likely be captured for multiple platforms, such as print advertisements as well as a TV commercial, he said.

The Skico is discouraging the public from hiking up to the halfpipe to watch the action. “There are a lot of moving parts to this,” Hanle said. They don’t want spectators getting in the way or risking injury.

Park Pictures is represented by Aspen Production Services. The application estimated there will be 50 to 60 people in the cast and crew. Equipment needed for the shoot was scheduled to be loaded onto snow cats and delivered to the site Thursday night. There will be shoots for the TV commercial tonight and Sunday night, then equipment will be packed out Monday.



When asked why Nike selected Aspen, Hanle replied: “Because we have the best park and pipe in the country.” He said Nike has shot commercials on Skico terrain before, and they always work well together.

scondon@aspentimes.com


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