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Newsweek finds a mogul

Don Rogers

Last week, Vail Resorts chief Adam Aron was profiled in Newsweek – quite the coup for the company in the middle of ski season.Aron got cover treatment for the news weekly’s Enterprise section, and an upbeat profile about the king of the ski companies while their stars are aligned just so. Stock price up, value of those hotels VR bought low is up, destination visits up, snow levels up. It’s all looking up at the moment.The picture painted in reasonably broad strokes is also true. Vail Resorts is the king of the ski resort companies, much as that sets critics’ teeth grinding. Hey, too bad they aren’t in dire straits, like American Ski Co., eh? Old resentments find a home in the Newsweek article, too. The Harvard wunderkind who climbed swiftly in the big biz world before landing in Vail did not cut his teeth working the lifts or on ski patrol.Aron is more in tune with senators and New York City mayors than lifties and ski bums. His best friends are more likely to find his little job running a ski company cute than impressive. He skis the runs of the vacationer from Dallas or Chicago, not the stuff of Warren Miller movies.Egads, he struggles with his weight, apparently a sin among the cognoscenti of alpine life. (Never mind that some of the vaunted ski patrol folk do, as well. Middle age is hell.)The greatest sin, of course, is running a ski company as a, well, business. One that has struggled through the wake of 9/11, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and lean snow years before reaching for new peaks. For a fellow supposedly so out of tune with the actual skiing, he’s presided over an awful lot of improvements on the slopes. Now he’s leading the Vail town renaissance. Hmm, maybe he’ll amount to something yet.Vail, ColoradoVail, Colorado


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