Special thanks to Xanthe Alexis and her band Poesis for the site sound
It was October,
I just finished my MBA and was on a flight to Albuquerque for a 3-hour drive north into New Mexico's Enchanted Circle of ski areas, south of the Colorado border. I had landed an interview with an Independent ski area owner for a Marketing Director Position, the town I was heading to was Red River.
In the distance the majestic Sangre de Christo Mountains filled the sky behind the straight road into town. After passing through Taos the road climbs and then turns east for another half hour before entering Red River. I settled in for the night and prepared for my interview.
In the morning, the interview commenced, and the owner explained to me that he needed more than a Marketing Guy, he also needed a Ski Race Director. (I kept a steady face but inside I was above cloud 9)
Things progressed and in early December my boss, the ski area owner, informed me that we would be heading up to Colorado for 2 days of ski racing at the largest ski area in America.
The next morning I was surrounded by the largest convergence of ski racers I have ever experienced, many in speed suits which I had only seen on TV, did not have one myself. We were all racing against a guy on the US ski team.
Excited to go back, the following year I decided I would be better prepared and trained heavily. After some pre-race wagering/touting by my first boss, my preparation paid off. I consistently managed to score faster times on all the runs that first day than the others in our group. After one of the runs, my first boss, the Salomon Skis Rep said, “... something must be wrong with the timing equipment!”
We worked with a PR firm in Taos, who also worked with the Taos Ski Area on their marketing campaign. My days consisted of snow reports to the media, advertising, special events, sales calls in Texas and Oklahoma, photo shoots, working with the lodging base, course setting and giving out Race Awards at the local steak house called "Texas Reds".
As a kid I always loved maps, and convinced the owner to have a better map drawn by James Niehues the leading ski area map artist.
We cut a new intermediate ski run and adding a new ski lift to increase our uphill capacity and allow more skiers to get up the mountain from a different part of town.
Before we could get approval to develop the new run conducted a Spotted Owl study to assess impact on the habitat and environment. It passed we were soon immersed in the excitement of adding a new ski run and lift.
One last thing remained, what do we call the new run? I love naming things, and came up with “Boom Town”. The owner liked the name and the rest is history. “Boom Town” became the run, and the artist that created the new map was James Niehues
Age 4 skied weekends with family in the Cascade mountains surrounding Mt. Rainier. Age 19 became a certified ski coach and have been actively coaching for 30+ years in four states and three foreign countries.