Colorado ski resort pioneers talk about the industry’s roots, ski pass wars and how to deal with crowds |

Colorado ski resort pioneers talk about the industry’s roots, ski pass wars and how to deal with crowds

Jason Blevins, Colorado Sun
From left: John Norton, Andy Daly and Bill Kane share more than 135 years of experience leading the operations, planning and development of Colorado ski resorts. The trio gathered recently to ski a few laps at the private Cimarron Mountain Club. (Jason Blevins, The Colorado Sun)

CIMARRON — Andy Daly, Bill Kane and John Norton have more than 130 years combined experience leading, planning and marketing skiing and resort communities in Colorado. 

The trio are helping the investors behind the Cimarron Mountain Club hone a one-of-a-kind, powder-protecting community for 13 high net worth members and recently gathered for a few laps in the project’s 1,750 acres of snowcat-accessed terrain near Montrose.

Meet the three resort captains and read how they answered a few questions as we rumbled through old-growth forest in the shadow of the toothy Cimarron Range. Call it a Chat in the Cat. 

Andy Daly has a rich resume for a ski bum who came to Colorado for a working holiday and never left. Moving from his home in Massachusetts, he took a temporary job as a ski patroller at Aspen Highlands in 1970.

The next season he was a full-time patroller. Then he moved to Copper Mountain, where he was patrol director, mountain manager, head of operations and, by 1982, president and CEO. Then he opened Lake Eldora Mountain Resort in 1987. He ran Beaver Creek, Eldora and Ski Broadmoor in Colorado Springs in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He served as president of Vail Associates, which became Vail Resorts, for most of the 1990s. He’s served two terms as Vail mayor. He’s closing in on a decade as co-owner of Powderhorn ski area up on the Grand Mesa. He’s advised and consulted on dozens of projects. He’s served on just as many boards and councils. And he’s won just about every honor the ski industry can bestow. 

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

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