There’s a reason why Aspen is world renowned, and it’s no coincidence. Luckily, there were visionaries—like the Paepckes, Friedl Pfeifer, Fritz Benedict, Dick Durrance, Andre Roch, and Franz Berko, among others. These institutional figures in Aspen’s history laid the foundation for modern day Aspen. The arts and culture, skiing and riding, hiking and adventure that combine to make Aspen truly unique were set into motion by this town’s pioneers.
Today, a handful of passionate locals are ushering Aspen into a new generation. In the likeness of the aforementioned innovators, these families have their feet planted in Aspen’s past and their eyes looking to the future.
Aspen Peak recently highlighted a handful of families who are “putting Aspen on the global map.” Among them, Jeff and Dave Gorsuch are highlighted. Local writer Kelly J. Hayes says, “The Aspen that we know today did not just happen. It was forged. Men who were pioneers created businesses, developed ski resorts, and built homes, schools, and entertainment hubs, all to support the dream of a place that could nurse the mind, body, and spirit. Many have passed on those lessons learned to a new generation that is taking the best of the past and creating a new future….”
CLICK HERE to read the entire article in the Winter issue of Aspen Peak. And, read below to learn more about the Gorsuches.
“The roots of this community lie in the magic of the mountains,” says Jeff Gorsuch, 51, the second generation of the ski-racing family that created the iconic Gorsuch ski shops in Aspen and Vail. “Our stores are an authentic reflection of that.”
The family patriarch, Dave Gorsuch, 77, spent much of his youth at ski races in Aspen, even winning the Roch Cup Downhill in 1956. “In 1941, when I was 4 years old, [my dad] brought me to Aspen in a rucksack for the Winter Nationals, and it has been a part of my life ever since,” the elder Gorsuch explains.
Dave met the woman who would eventually become his wife when they were just 14 years old at the Junior National Ski Championships in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and he and Renie later became members of the 1960 US Olympic ski team together. Following the Games, they began opening ski shops, and now their son Jeff runs the Aspen shops and works within the community to promote the best of skiing. “When my parents first started the shops, there was a lot of energy in this town,” Jeff says.
Giving back for Jeff means working with organizations like the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, the Aspen Education Foundation, and Aspen Community School. He is most proud of the kids program Gorsuch operates that provides up to 300 pairs of skis a year to people who can’t afford them. “I feel like we are a part of the fabric of this place,” he says. “To be able to raise my kids here and work in this community is an honor and a privilege.”