the Limelight Dialogues

Join us on select Wednesdays during the Winter Season for this year's Limelight Dialogues, moderated by Jenny MacArthur of Aspen/Snowmass Ski and Snowboard Schools and occasionally by Auden Schendler, VP of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company.

The Limelight Dialogues provide an opportunity for our guests and locals to get to know Aspen's charismatic and colorful icons. 

Join us in welcoming Barbara Sanders as our next speaker, on Wednesday, March 19th.

Barbara sanders

Long time Aspen Resident and Ski Industry Professional changed her life 9 years ago while skiing with one of her guests. Barb has always had an eye for fashion and combining that with her passion for skiing and mountain lifestyle shared her thoughts about then, available ski publications. Upon which, She was invited to pitch her vision to the CEO of World Publications.

The first issue of SNOW Magazine hit the stands in The Fall of 2007! Twenty issues later the magazine is now independently owned and published here in Aspen. Barb's transformational story from Ski Pro to Magazine Owner and  Publisher is inspiring, visionary and motivating.


Chris Klug will be our speaker on March 5th, in the Lounge.

chris klug

Chris Klug is a professional alpine snowboarder and a three time US Olympic Snowboard team member. After receiving a liver transplant in 2000 to treat Primary Sclerosing cholangitis, he went on to compete in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, winning a bronze medal in the Parallel Giant Slalom. In 2004, Klug released a book called To the Edge and Back: My Story from Organ Transplant Survivor to Olympic Snowboarder. As a thirteen year liver transplant recipient, Chris is grateful to be alive and is an active supporter of organ donation. Chris founded the Chris Klug Foundation dedicated to promoting life-saving organ and tissue donation, which over the  past 10 years has raised over 1.5 million for organ donation awareness activities nationwide.

After twenty plus years living out of a suitcase on the road pursuing his Olympic dreams, Chris is loving being home in Aspen working, playing and being a dad. Of all the cool things Chris has done in his life, he's proud to say that nothing compares to being a dad. Chris continues to challenge himself athletically and is passionate about demonstrating what is possible after a transplant by participating in events like the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race, The Elk Mountains Grand Traverse and The Power of Four SkiMo Race (on my splitboard), and The Power of Four MTB Race.


Join us on February 19th for our second speaker, Christy Mahon

Christy Mahon

As the first woman to ski all of Colorado's Fourteeners, Christy etched a place for herself in Ski mountaineering history. A Colorado native, Christy relocated to Aspen 15 years ago, where she quickly observed people defying the ordinary. Inspired by those around her, she soon began seeking her own outdoor challenges. As a runner, she tackled half marathons, and then marathons, ultimately completing eleven 50 mile races and four 100 miles ultra races. As a climber, her drive allowed her to summit all of Colorado’s highest hundred peaks, as well as many high summits around the world, including Mt. Everest’s neighboring peak, Ama Dablam. Always up for a good challenge, Christy is now combining her personal passion for the outdoors with her career in non-profit fundraising for the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES). Her personal life has always included a huge respect for nature and she has learned so much from spending time outdoors and in the mountains.


We welcome John Clendenin as our first speaker for this season's Limelight Dialogues, on January 22!

John Clendenin

John Clendenin is a World Freestyle Champion, leader and coach. He inspires others with his Clendenin Ski Method to discover their potential through centered efficient skiing. The inspiration for his teaching method came from years of demonstrating skiing on a Ski Deck, along with training under legendary ski coach Warren Witherell. He continued to lead the way for freestyle skiing as a founder and director of the first sanctioning body of freestyle skiing, the International Freestyle Skiers Association, in 1973.

Career Awards & Highlights:
  • 1973: World Freestyle Skiing Champion held at Sun Valley, Idaho
  • 1974: World Freestyle Skiing Champion held at Heavenly, California
  • 1973-75: World Freestyle Ballet, four 1st place titles
  • 2011: Pioneer of Freestyle Skiing honors by the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame
  • 1965-2012: appeared, produced and/or starred in 20-plus promotional ski films


Past Limelight Dialogues have featured these individuals:

Klaus Obermeyer

klausKlaus Obermeyer, an entreprepeur from birth, built his first pair of skis in Bavaria at age 3 from chestnut boards from an orange crate. He nailed his best shoes to the wood and tied string around the tips and his knees! Klaus moved to Aspen at age 27 to become a ski instructor and his entrepreneurial skills began to flourish. He became an Aeronautical Engineer, and capitalized on many opportunities to make the sport of skiing more comfortable, safe and enjoyable. Klaus’s engineering ingenuity can be attributed to several beloved products that we now take for granted, including down jackets, ski brakes and double-lense goggles! This Aspen icon delighted a packed house last season with tales from his amazing life in his good natured style, punctuated, of course by his famed yodeling skills.  

Don't miss our next Limelight Dialogue featuring the one and only, Klaus Obermeyer. 

Tom Crum

thomas crumTom Crum, the founder of Aspen Skiing Company’s longest running ski program, The Magic of Skiing, shared stories with us in February 2013 of his experiences as John Denver's friend and former bodyguard. He  is also an Aikido Master, author of 3 books, and  a professional speaker. His Magic of Skiing program utilizes skiing as a tool to integrate Aikido's learnings. 

According to Tom, “life is like a series of dots and by following the dots... and being open to opportunity, we accept that the dots don’t always lead to where we think they are headed...” Tom and his wife Cathy, found Aspen on their way to Jackson Hole, Wy from Houston, Texas.  They helped a guy get a dog into a backpack and got offered a job on a stop through Aspen and didn't quite made it to Jackson Hole as planned. Since his arrival to Aspen, Tom has been instrumental in bringing the Aspen Idea to fruition. In conjunction with John Denver, Tom has realized his vision of creating a central gathering place where people could work the land, utilize workable windmills and bio-intensive gardens, and other environmentally sound practices. All of Tom’s captivating stories are designed to encourage life long exploration and learning.

Katie Ryan

Katie Ryan is a product of Aspen High School and Aspen Valley Ski Club. Katie, now 20, is a member on the US Women’s Ski Team. While Katie’s classmates were receiving acceptance letters from colleges across the country, Katie stayed true to her dream of becoming a member of the US Women’s Ski Team. With two weeks remaining before high school graduation, Katie boarded a bus  to her final High School Outdoor Ed Experience with her classmates. On the bus, she received a phone call and learned that she had been accepted to the Women’s US Ski Team!

Katie’s story is one that will inspire and encourage individuals to reach for the stars and continue working for their dreams. After an early season win in a Nor-Am training run, Katie realized that winning an event was within her reach. Everything clicked into place at Copper Mountain, where she won her first Nor-Am downhill. Further wins in Canada that season led to Katie being crowned the 2012-13 NorAm Downhill Champion. A few weeks later, Katie blew out her ACL. Katie is hard at work on her rehab and strength training program to be ready for her start this season in the World Cup Downhill events. Katie, the Limelight is rooting you on! 

Dale Paas

daleDale Paas’s family moved to Aspen in the 1950’s after purchasing the then-named Limelight Lodge. This was an era where 5- year old Dale was quickly put to work answering phones. Over the years, the Paas family purchased the Deep Powder, Snowflake, Hillside and Ski View lodges, and grew the Limelight to 110 rooms from an original six rooms. The property is now called The Limelight Hotel, and offers 126 rooms. 

When Aspen was formerly just a winter resort town, Dale worked together with other lodge owners to bring summer events to the Valley. These initial foundations paved the way for current popular events such as Aspen's Food & Wine Classic, Jazz AspenSnowmass as well as the Aspen Music Festival & School. 

Dale’s wild tales of his experiences managing the Limelight delighted our audience. Who would have thought that someone would bring 40 Dachshunds into a hotel?