“I hope you can hear me,” says Jeff Gorsuch by phone. “I’m in Newport, Calif., where we’re shooting the newest catalog, and it’s a little noisy.” As one of the co-owners of Gorsuch, the chain of shops that, for nearly 60 years, have been a major influence on ski gear and fashion trends, Jeff does a little bit of everything. “Today I’m helping out with this shoot; next week I’ll be in the stores meeting people,” he says.
Jeff, 57, is a second-generation owner of the company, a role he shares with his mother, Renie, and two brothers (his father, David, died in 2021). Jeff was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2019, an honor that his parents and his grandfather share. His parents, former ski racers who both competed in the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, founded their first two ski shops in 1962, one in Gunnison and one in Crested Butte. By 1966, they sold those shops and launched a small store in Vail, a resort that had opened four years earlier and was already attracting more skiers with deeper pockets than most other Colorado destinations.
IT’S ALWAYS FELT LIKE HOME, AND IT’S AN HONOR TO WORK IN A PLACE THAT PEOPLE VISIT BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT SO–JEFF GORSUCH
Immediately, the pair began making an indelible mark on the ski world. Inside their Austrian ski lodge-like shop, they sold gear made by high-end manufacturers, such as Rossignol and Head, and started building a reputation for shaping fashion trends within the snow sports industry, carrying designer apparel by Bogner and Frauenschuh. “People coming to Vail were second-home owners and they were looking for premium products,” says Jeff. “So that’s what Gorsuch gave them.”
After his own successful ski racing career, Jeff joined the family business in 1988—his first job was selling merchandise on the floor of the Vail store—and in 1998, relocated to Aspen, where the Gorsuches had opened a store in 1970. “I had a lot of friends from ski racing that were in Aspen,” says Jeff. “And we had a store here, so there was an opportunity to come here and help with that. It’s always felt like home, and it’s an honor to work in a place that people visit because they love it so much.”
Since his move to the Roaring Fork Valley, the husband and father of five has made a lasting impression on the community, serving as president of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club and on the board of Aspen Education Foundation and the Aspen Community School. He’s also made it his mission to make sure every child is able to ski or snowboard by running Aspen Supports Kids, a program that donates ski and snowboard equipment to 400 children that wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it. All the while, he’s helped oversee extensive growth at Gorsuch, including the opening of more stores in Beaver Creek and Park City, Utah, the ramping up of the catalog business (it now reaches just under 4 million households), and the launch of an online store. In 2017, Jeff opened the Gorsuch Ski Cafe in Aspen, a place where patrons can change out of their boots and chat about their powder day while sipping on a coffee or beer and munching on a warm Bavarian pretzel. Three years later, he opened another cafe in Vail.
Next up for Jeff Gorsuch is the construction of Gorsuch Haus, an 81- room hotel right at the base of Aspen Mountain. “It will have a rooftop hotel and spa and other beautiful amenities,” he says. “It’s going to be an alpine-inspired hotel that will offer beds at the base at one of the best mountains in the world. Will we build more? Anything is possible.”
Photography by: Courtesy of Jeff Gorsuch