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SAM Magazine—Aspen Snowmass, Colo., March 1, 2023—Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) has named Geoff Buchheister as chief executive officer of Aspen Snowmass. GB Headshot.HNBuchheister will lead ASC’s Mountain Division effective March 1, 2023, succeeding longtime CEO Mike Kaplan, who is retiring as of April 30, 2023, after 30 years with the company. Buchheister currently serves as chief operating officer of Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada, where he has been since 2019.

“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 summertime mountain operations into the future,” said Aspen Skiing Company managing partner Jim Crown. “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 has nearly 25 years of overall ski industry experience, primarily gained at Park City Mountain Resort, Utah, where he spent 16 years in various leadership roles. He joined Vail Resorts in 2014 when it acquired PCMR, and then was appointed to lead the company’s urban ski areas: Afton Alps, Minn., Mt. Brighton, Mich., and Wilmot, Wis. He was named general manager of Keystone, Colo., in 2017, before taking on his current role at Whistler Blackcomb. 

“Geoff and I connected on so many levels,” said Kaplan. “He has a deep understanding of the business, but just as important, he is a lifelong skier, and has a deep tie to the mountain lifestyle. He worked his way up through the industry and understands the importance of building a solid team and putting employees first.”

Buchheister is a Colorado native who grew up in Winter Park. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was a three-time NCAA All-American racer on the ski team. Buchheister was named as a SAMMY Leadership Award honoree in 2019—shortly before he became COO of Whistler Blackcomb—recognized by his peers for his leadership abilities and bright future in the mountain resort industry.

“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,” said Buchheister. “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.” 

Upon the news of Buchheister’s departure, Vail Resorts COO and SVP Doug Pierini said, “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. Geoff has been an influential leader and we have no doubt he will continue to be successful in this new chapter.”