Name: Chris Linsmayer
Marital status: Single
Career: Public Affairs Director, Colorado Ski County USA
Where do you call home today? Lincoln Park, Denver
Introduction: Chris Linsmayer, an East High School alumnus and graduate of Amherst College with a degree in environmental studies, is in his fourth winter with Colorado Ski Country USA, now as its public affairs director. Colorado Ski Country USA is a trade organization that represents 23 of Colorado’s ski resorts. So it is no surprise that Linsmayer eats and drinks the outdoors, particularly skiing. Linsmayer, formerly a ski instructor at Steamboat Ski Resort, now happily promotes Colorado skiing and all the incredible events, sports and food his member resorts have to offer to Coloradans and beyond.
What surprises people about you?
How much I read. Everybody assumes I’m a big outdoor guy, which I am, but I really am a reader.
How do people describe you?
Fun and outgoing.
Who do you most admire?
My mom. She is a very determined and dedicated person and I have always been inspired by her dedication to herself, her family and her career.
Favorite Denver metro restaurant?
Leven Deli in the Golden Triangle.
What was the last great book you read?
My all-time favorite is The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay.
What is your biggest fashion faux pas?
I did wear a bolo tie to a friend’s wedding as a badge of honor as a Coloradan. Other than that, not much.
What is one thing that you absolutely can’t live without?
Pasta. It doesn’t matter what kind.
What was your last major purchase?
A new TV.
What gadget can you not live without?
My back-country ski equipment.
What are your hobbies?
Anything outdoors. I enjoy hiking, camping, exploring and, of course, skiing.
What is your most memorable Colorado experience?
My first winter in Colorado, I visited all 23 ski areas that are a part of our ski association.
What one word describes Coloradans to you?
What is your favorite spot in Colorado to visit?
I used to be a ski instructor at Steamboat, so I enjoy going back there and seeing old friends.
Are you involved with any charities?
No. But Colorado Ski Country USA donates items to charities and good causes quite often.
What took you down this career path?
I grew up in an avid, outdoorsy family. This job combines skiing, outdoors, politics and media and public relations. It’s the perfect fit of all the things that I love.
Where did you grow up skiing?
Mostly along the I-70 corridor. When I was in college at Amherst College, I got the Rocky Mountain Super Pass, which made Steamboat accessible as well as the other great areas that I could explore.
Ski or snowboard?
I am a skier. I snowboarded when I was a teenager, but I came back to skiing so I could keep up with my dad.
What does Colorado Ski Country USA do?
We are a trade association representing 23 ski resorts across Colorado from the small areas to the large areas. We perform communications and public relations, public policy and marketing, and pass programs
Who funds it?
The member ski areas.
What are the greatest challenges facing Colorado ski resorts?
The long-term threat of climate change and continuing to grow participation in the sport.
What has been your most memorable moment working for Colorado Ski Country USA?
Just representing the Colorado ski industry is a really fun job, and the people we work with make Colorado skiing great. By far Colorado is the number one state in the county for skier visits.
Are there new projects for this ski season that stick out for you?
These past two years have been transformative years for investment in the ski areas. We have 11 new lifts across the state, including two new gondolas, new lodging facilities and new dining areas.
Colorado Ski Country USA promotes more than just skiing. What are the events and offerings that bring people to the mountains other than skiing?
Many areas are year-round destinations for people interested in things like hiking, mountain biking, and music series. There are mountain coasters that essentially roller coasters through the trees.
Where do you see the ski industry in 10 years?
I think Colorado will continue to be the number one state in skier visits. I expect that investment will continue to keep Colorado a world-class destination for skiers.
The question of a high-speed rail line to the I-70 ski resorts has long been discussed in Colorado. Do you see that as a realistic future possibility?
It’s been a part of the conversation for decades. There always are varying degrees of support for it. The problem has always been the funding mechanism. There are two great rail lines already, however. The Winter Park Express is a huge success delivering people from Union Station to Winter Park, and the California Zephyr travels from Union Station to Glenwood Springs to deliver skiers to Sunlight Mountain Resort.
Do you have a favorite ski memory?
It’s not exactly a memory, but my dad has a picture of me as a 6-year-old and he is lowering me into his ski boots in the front yard. I think of that picture often.
Do you have a favorite place outside of Colorado to ski?
Of course not!
What steps is Colorado Ski Country USA taking to make access to ski resorts more accessible for Coloradans, particularly kids?
We tell people to use Colorado Ski Country as an information source for discounts and resort information. We have the Colorado Gems Card that substantially discounts ski tickets for 11 resorts. We also have the Passport Program that provides three free tickets for 22 resorts (a possible 66 free tickets) for all Colorado fifth graders. For Colorado sixth graders, the Pass Program offers four days for $110 at 22 areas (a possible 88 free tickets).
Scott S. Evans is graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law and is a father of two, a business litigation attorney, writer and high school lacrosse coach living in Centennial. Fun fact: Scott’s mom skied for Middlebury College and the U.S. national team.
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