by damien williamson
photography by billy rood | November 21, 2014 | People
From a nonprofit superstar-to-be to a star of the small screen (and the big-time snowboard circuit), meet the stylish, trailblazing alpha males of aspen who are staking an alpine claim to fame… one peak at a time.
Blazer and vest, Mario Di Leone ($2,395). 301 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-925-2740. Dress shirt, Salvatore Piccolo ($495). Mario Di Leone, SEE ABOVE. Pants, Lardini ($445). Mario Di Leone, SEE ABOVE. 18k pink-gold Quai de L’ile watch, Vacheron Constantin ($43,400). Hyde Park Jewelers, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Denver, 303-333-4446
The story of Othello Clark, 40, is one of serendipity at its finest. The celebrated athlete-turned-TV host-turned-soap opera star was set on his nontraditional path in the early ’90s, when a skateboarding event he was meant to attend was rained out. The crew headed to the nearby mountains to hit the slopes, and he discovered that his skateboarding talents translated to snowboarding. His very first winter in Aspen, Clark was featured in a snowboarding segment on Good Morning America; from there, the sponsors started calling. Bouncing back and forth between Aspen’s snow and Maui’s surf, one day he got a call from Aspen Skiing Company, which offered to name a rail park after him at the top of the mountain. His own skate shop and camp followed, as did stints as a host on local TV stations. Then, when The Bold and the Beautiful came to town in 2010, it was a no-brainer that the six-foot-tall, dreadlocked cliff hucker would snag one of the local walk-on roles. And the audience kept asking for more.
To what do you attribute your success? Luck, hard work, and being in the right place at the right time. So much of it is Aspen. Had I not come here, I would have been content working a job and paying the bills and not dreaming of anything bigger.
What convinced you to move to Aspen? I was at home in Virginia Beach one night trying to decide if I was really going to move here. Then Aspen Extreme came on. After that, I knew I had to do it.
What was it like to have your own run on Aspen Mountain? When [former SkiCo president] Pat O’Donnell called me, I was on a beach in Maui getting ready to go surfing. He told me to sit down. It was unreal. I believe I was the only living person to have a run named after him. And I was definitely the only black person.
What’s next? I want to be an even bigger name in television and television production. I just want to see how far I can take this.
Plaid vest, Luciano Barbera ($1,685). Pitkin County Dry Goods, 520 E. Cooper Ave., 970-925-1681. Magnus sweater blazer, Iris von Arnim ($1,798). Gorsuch, 611 E. Durant Ave., 970-920-9388. 18k pink-gold Quai de L’ile watch, Vacheron Constantin ($43,400). Hyde Park Jewelers, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Denver, 303-333-4446. Dress shirt and pants, Fuller’s own
For Chip Fuller, who just completed the Leadville Trail 100 MTB—the high-altitude, 100-mile mountain bike marathon—living the high life is all about balance. The married father of two exemplifies Aspen’s mind-body-spirit ethos by succeeding in a high-stress, high-demand field—which doesn’t typically have a strong footing in mountain towns—while raising a family and venturing into the great outdoors every chance he gets. He spent countless hours training on the trails in and around Aspen all year, and logged just under 11 hours in the saddle on race day. He competed as part of the Chris Klug Foundation, an Aspen nonprofit that increases awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation, and helped the team raise more than $60,000, a significant chunk of the foundation’s operating budget. But back in his eight-person JonesTrading office, where he’s been for the past seven years, Fuller started at the bottom and has worked his way up. “It’s a high-stress job,” says the 43-year-old, “but it’s still a laid-back group.” And because he works New York City hours, his afternoons are free to hang with the kids and chase his friends around trails—when he’s not training for his next super bike marathon, that is.
If you weren’t a sales trader, what would you be doing? My wife owns a bunch of retail stores [called The Blues Jean Bar] around the country, and she’s pretty good at it, so I’d probably be working for her.
How do you define style? It’s just being comfortable with yourself. I’ve never been one to follow trends.
If you didn’t live in Aspen where would you live? I hope I never have to answer that question. But I do miss the ocean sometimes, so perhaps in San Francisco. The great thing about living in a mountain town is whenever you go on vacation, the only place you go to is the beach.
How do you unwind? I’m a huge cyclist, and I ski 100 days a year. It helps that my office is at the base of Aspen Highlands!
Sweater, Theory ($325). 204 S. Galena St., 970-544-0079. Kane in Raw jeans, J Brand ($154). Pitkin County Dry Goods, 520 E. Cooper Ave., 970-925-1681. Grande Lune watch, Hermès ($27,100). 105 Fillmore St., Denver, 303-388-0700
Most students spend their final months at college imbibing alcohol for fun; Duncan Clauss was busy making a career of it, crafting, in his senior year at UC Boulder, what would become the Aspen Brewing Company. “I was shocked that Aspen, of all places, didn’t have its own brewery,” says the Connecticut native. “I knew I wanted to move to Aspen after college. Originally I was just going to be a ski bum, but I knew I would kick myself if [after] two years someone [opened a brewery first].” After securing investors, he launched his “nano-brewery” in 2008 in a mixed-use area just outside the downtown core. Nearly seven years later, the 30-year-old—who describes himself as the brewery’s founder, operator, plumber, electrician, and everything in between—has moved the brewery to a large facility near the airport and the Tap Room bar to Restaurant Row (304 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-920-2739; aspenbrewingcompany.com), and has doubled beer production every year since 2010. He’s even picked up awards along the way: His Belgian Farmhouse Saison won the silver medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Fest and the gold at the 2014 World Beer Cup.
Did you have a philosophy for the brewery when you started? Aspen has this veil of glitz and glam, but beneath that is an awesome local community. I was confident that the local crowd would rally behind a brewery to call their own.
What do you drink aside from Aspen Brewing beer? I drink a lot of beer, partly because I love it and partly because I want to keep up with what other breweries are doing. But other than that, you can find me at L’Hostaria [with] a nice glass of wine.
What’s the most challenging part of running a business here? Real estate is certainly the biggest piece of the puzzle. But because of our timing with the recession, we started small and are now able to grow [sustainably].
Where can we find you on a Saturday night? Walking out of Belly Up after some really good live music!
Flannel jacket, Patagonia ($169). 100 Elbert Lane, Snowmass, 970-315-3364. Chino hunter pants, Filson ($125). M.W. Reynolds, 3463 S. Broadway, Englewood, 303-761-0021. Khaki jacket and shirt, McBride’s own
The Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club pulled off quite the coup last spring when it snagged John “Johno” McBride as its head alpine coach. The second-generation Aspenite, 50, might be best known for coaching Bode Miller during the 2005 and 2008 seasons, when Miller won the overall World Cup championship. But, that’s just one highlight of his illustrious career. McBride coached for the US and Canadian national ski teams, specializing in downhill and super-G, with his racers routinely securing top spots on the podium. Though he was a strong competitor himself, at AVSC and the University of Vermont, it was his love of pushing others to be better that led him to ski-coaching celebrity. “I intuitively understand how different athletes learn and become better,” he says. “One racer might need to see the action, while another needs a move [broken down] in terms they can understand.” Ultimately, balancing a hectic schedule with a family (he and his wife, Sunni, have three young children) and a desire to return to and engage with the community he loves brought him back home to help train the next generation of local skiing legends.
What’s your career highlight? The time I had three team members place in the top five. Or the time one of my guys walked away with three medals. That just doesn’t happen. What did you miss most about Aspen? I was on the World Cup tour for 19 years, traveling so often [I lost] a sense of place, and that’s hard. I missed feeling like I was part of a community.
How would you describe your training philosophy? I’m consistent and I’m not afraid to call people out. But more than anything, I’m a real believer in teamwork and empowering people to hold one another accountable.
How did you transition from athlete to coach? My coaching began with the Special Olympics, then AVSC. I just loved working with kids and trying to help them become better. And I recall thinking of the coaches who made a difference in my life, and I knew I wanted to do that for others.
Suit, Ermenegildo Zegna ($3,095). 211 S. Galena St., 970-544-4989. Dress shirt, Mario Di Leone ($395). 301 E. Hopkins Ave., 970-925-2740. Demi frames, Masunaga ($375). Silver Threads, 308 Galena St., 970-429-4670. Pocket square, The Tie Bar ($8). Arceau Le Temps Suspendu watch, Hermès ($20,750). 103 Fillmore St., Denver, 303-388-0700
Few 20-somethings found and direct their own international nonprofit. Fewer still receive a Congressional Medal of Recognition from the Chilean Senate. Weston Boyles has done both. In 2012, at 25, he founded Rios to Rivers, a collective of educators, artists, filmmakers, writers, coaches, philanthropists, energy experts, environmentalists, and humanitarians dedicated to river conservation. The organization unites middle-and high school-aged students from Patagonia, Chile, and Colorado through kayaking expeditions on Chile’s Río Baker and the US’s Colorado River. Chilean students see for the first time a megadam and the resultant impact on the river. US students experience the majesty of an undeveloped river in a pristine wilderness. Both groups learn about the ecological impact of dams, explore viable renewable energy sources, and take part in cultural exchanges. Boyles, an Aspen-bred filmmaker by trade, plans to make a film about the exchange, focusing on educating the youth and building an international advocacy group of students, local business leaders, teachers, and conservationists.
Why not pursue a project closer to home? I fell in love with Patagonia when I was young, and it feels like home now. You can have a huge impact with far less money there.
What do you see yourself doing in five to 10 years? I’ve been focusing on filmmaking, but I hope [that we can continue to host] exchanges with Rios to Rivers every couple of years.
How do you define style? Style is a willingness to be flexible—that and humility and a respect for others and the natural world.
With all the nonprofits in the Roaring Fork Valley, how do you set yourself apart? We’re working with kids whose parents make a few thousand dollars a year. And this is the first generation [in Chile] where the kids have been able to practice a first world sport. I think that resonates with people in Aspen.
Dress shirt, Ralph Lauren Purple Label ($425). 501 E. Cooper Ave., 970-925-5147. Calibre de Cartier Chronograph watch, Cartier ($11,300). Hyde Park Jewelers, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, Denver, 303-333-4446. Suit, tie, and pocket square, Holstein’s own
After four years in the ivy-clad halls of Dartmouth College, Aspen native Matt Holstein was on the first flight back home. “I’ve never found a place with this combination of lifestyle, weather, and attitude,” he says. After a short stint as an investment banker—a field he says didn’t quite mesh with his personality—Holstein took up the family business and got into real estate. He quickly found that selling real estate amounted to selling Aspen, which felt effortless. When not in the office, Holstein, who’s sold tens of millions of dollars in properties in his 12-year career, can be found clicking into his skis, strapping on his climbing harness, or hammering on his bike pedals. On special days, the 41-year-old can be seen riding his Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. And the ultimate local broker has one other leg up on the competition: Any agent can search for listings, but few know the unlisted properties like Holstein does—let alone the sellers and buyers, like family friends, former babysitters, teachers, classmates... and the list goes on.
What is your favorite Aspen tradition? Tuesday Cruiseday. Anywhere from 100 to 200 people on bikes roll around town with beers. Things like that make Aspen more than a playground for the rich and famous.
How competitive is Aspen’s real estate scene? It would be easy to get caught up in the materialism of this place because there are so many wealthy people here. But keeping up with the Joneses is impossible because you can be a billionaire and the guy across the street is still richer than you.
How do you start your day? My wife, Kate, and I walk our miniature Labradoodle, Bugaboo (named after the Canadian mountain range), on the Aspen Mountain Trail before grabbing some coffee at a local shop.
What’s the key to your success? A good real estate broker has to be a good listener. You have to have a lot of empathy.
Henley, John Varvatos ($250). Pitkin County Dry Goods, 520 E. Cooper Ave., 970-925-1681. Calibre de Cartier Chronograph watch, Cartier ($10,700). Hyde Park Jewelers, Cherry Creek Shopping Center, SEE ABOVE. Plaid shirt and pants, Nolan’s own
To say that Will Nolan is a busy man is quite an understatement. As the executive chef at Viceroy Snowmass (130 Wood Road, Snowmass, 970-923-8000), Nolan, 40, crafts creative culinary experiences for diners at the swanky Eight K; casual gastropub fare at poolside Nest Public House; and, most recently, has taken the helm of Ricard, Snowmass’s nod to the Parisian brasserie. But the tattooed skateboarder and avid snowboarder (he managed 101 ski days last year) is not aiming for the middle. After graduating from Portland’s Le Cordon Bleu outpost, he took on executive chef roles in Durango; his hometown of New Orleans; Singapore; and finally Snowmass, where he’s generated major buzz with a stint on the Today show and as a finalist in Food & Wine’s “People’s Best New Chef” competition, in 2012. One need only hear that sultry Southern drawl explaining his pioneering Creole-meets-Colorado cuisine to know that something new—and special—awaits.
How would you describe your culinary MO? People no longer want to pay 70 bucks for an entrée and still leave hungry. So I blend my rich Creole history with classic Colorado fare, like elk and lamb, in an approachable way. And you don’t need to stop at In-N-Out Burger on the way home.
Do you have any food phobias? There’s nothing I’m scared of. I actually find myself holding back from using exotic ingredients like squirrel, rabbit, frog, or alligator.
Did you ever think you’d be living in Aspen? My goal in life has always been to have a place in the mountains. I feel at home here.
What is your fashion style? I grew up a skateboarder, so I’m very much a Vans and Dickies and Levi’s kind of guy. But my wife has been helping me focus on getting things in the right size… including shirts with buttons!
What do you drink to wind down? I’m a red wine fanatic. And I love sipping rums…
Grooming by Kendra Lauren Gros Styling by Faye Power. Shot on location at the Viceroy Snowmass The Viceroy Snowmass augments the natural beauty of the Colorado high country with its luxury and sophistication, but it respects it as well: All of the Viceroy’s condo-style rooms, nearly 200 in all, are LEED-certified, and the surroundings are certainly worth protecting. Overlooking the Assay Hill chairlift at the base of Snowmass Mountain, the ski-in ski-out Viceroy integrates seamlessly into the mountainside, and each room offers magnificent mountain views.