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Colorado Ski Country USA Announces 2017-18 Double Diamond Award Winners

Wrapping up Colorado’s 2017-18 ski season, Colorado Ski Country USA (CSCUSA) hosted its 55th Annual Meeting and the annual Double Diamond Award Ceremony yesterday to celebrate excellence in Colorado’s ski industry. Among the honorees were athletes, on-mountain professionals and industry veterans whose hard work and expertise are critical to the success of the Colorado ski industry. Olympic bronze medalist, Colorado and Steamboat Springs athlete Arielle Gold joined the celebration as the celebrity presenter.

The leaders of Colorado’s ski industry gathered at The Kitchen in Denver to recognize ski area employees for their excellence and dedication to their craft including food and beverage professionals, guest service professionals, ski instructors, ski patrollers, groomers, terrain masters, snowmakers and a winter athlete of the year.

SPENCER NELSON ALL-STAR ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Jack Reich, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club

Jack Reich is being chosen as the Spencer Nelson All-Star Athlete of the Year not only for his athletic accomplishments, but also his leadership skills at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. He works exceptionally hard to help his teammates both on and off the hill, balancing daily training and a busy competition schedule with school and volunteering. Jack’s hard work has paid off with a #1 rank in Giant Slalom in his age group. He qualified for and placed 4th in the 2018 Longines Future Ski Champions race this season, the fastest American in the U16 group. CSCUSA has supported Jack with a Colorado All-Star Pass, which has allowed him to train and compete at CSCUSA resorts.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

Dustin Ford, Copper Mountain

Dustin Ford has worked in food and beverage for more than 17 years, including 12 years with Copper Mountain’s food and beverage department. During the nominating process, Dustin’s passion, consistency and attention to detail were evident and it was clear that he leads Copper Mountain in exceeding guest expectations and providing a world-class dining experience. This season, Dustin was an integral part of opening Copper’s newest base area addition, Toast & Co. Dustin’s role as the chef and manager of Toast & Co. has led to rave reviews and happy skiers and riders at Copper Mountain. 

GUEST SERVICES PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

Eric Jorgensen, Telluride Ski Resort

As Guest Services Manager at Telluride Ski Resort, Eric Jorgensen is devoted to providing a seamless guest experience and a safe, supportive and healthy work environment for the guest services team. Since he was hired in 2005, Eric has gone above and beyond to enrich the guest experience and bring passion to his role at Telluride. He has been selected for this award because of his natural instinct and ability for leadership, his drive for continuous improvement and his excellent communication skills.

INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR

Ryan Latham, Aspen Snowmass

Ryan Latham’s passion for ski instructing made him an excellent choice for Instructor of the Year. His depth of knowledge, empathy and dedication to lifelong learning have spurred him to the top of Aspen Snowmass’ Ski and Snowboard School. Ryan has a background in adaptive snow sports and a passion for working with children with physical and mental challenges, helping them defy expectations and excel at skiing and snowboarding. He earned the position of trainer through a rigorous qualification process and was awarded the 2017 Snowmass Children’s Division Professional of the Year. His professionalism and positive attitude make him an excellent leader and instructor at Aspen Snowmass.

PATROLLER OF THE YEAR

Dana Antonio, Steamboat Resort

Our Patroller of the Year, Dana Antonio, is an outstanding role model and patroller with more than seven years of experience. The respect she commands from her peers and supervisors came across clearly in her nomination. Her instincts for safety, passion for guest service and determination to continue improving have made her one of the most respected patrollers on the Steamboat Resort team. Dana was voted by her peers as the 2017-18 Steamboat Patroller of the Year for her dedication and expertise in patrolling. She has become a trainer for new patrollers and those seeking new challenges.

GROOMER OF THE YEAR

Sterling Bommarito, Purgatory Resort

Purgatory Resort has been Sterling Bommarito’s home from the very beginning and he has, quite literally, grown up there. Sterling’s first job was in snow removal in 2006 at the ripe old age of 15. He also worked in ski school and lift operations before finally finding his home with the grooming department. Because he has skied at Purgatory his whole life, Sterling’s passion and respect for the mountain are unparalleled. This is obvious in the care and thought he puts into grooming and supervising his team at Purgatory Resort.

TERRAIN MASTER OF THE YEAR

Leif Eggert, Winter Park Resort

Since he joined the Winter Park Resort terrain park team three years ago, Leif Eggert has developed into an outstanding terrain park operator, quickly impressing his peers across the industry. Leif’s dedication to the program and desire to learn matches the quality of product he produces each night. His tireless effort and dedication to the parks is remarkable. He always looks for ways to push his knowledge and understanding of the park. Leif’s initiative and desire to take an active role in managing parks sets him apart from his peers and gives him an edge in producing world-class terrain parks for Winter Park Resort.

SNOWMAKER OF THE YEAR

Sean Mase, Arapahoe Basin

According to his team, Sean Mase deserves much of the credit for making Arapahoe Basin the first ski area to open in Colorado. Sean started at Arapahoe Basin in 2015 and brought a wealth of snowmaking experience from Copper Mountain. Since then, he’s shown deep commitment to snowmaking, adjusting his schedule to overlap with both shifts and better lead the department. He also coaches Summit High Football, showing dedication to the town and community. Sean is a leading member of the snowmaking team and works tirelessly to create excellent skiing and riding conditions for Arapahoe Basin guests.

Photo credit: Gabriel Christus and Colorado Ski Country USA

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