Arapahoe Basin Ski Area’s Fred Koetteritz wins Colorado Ski Country guest service award
Fred Koetteritz, assistant manager at the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area rental shop, says he has lived out several dreams since moving to Summit County more than 40 years ago.
Skiing in Pennsylvania since the age of 5, he dreamed about venturing to the Colorado mountains he saw in Ski Magazine. He grew up traveling with his family of seven in a loaded-up station wagon to ski hills in the Poconos in his home state.
All these years later, Koetteritz is following in his mother’s footsteps of retiring to work at a ski shop at a ski area. In his case, it’s at A-Basin. In his mother’s case, it was Camelback Resort in the Poconos.
“And she worked there the next 30 years,” Koetteritz, 64, said. “She had quite the charm and treated every customer as if they were the most valuable guest ever, and it reflected in her success. My love for skiing, hopefully I reflect that on people when they come in.”
Koetteritz’s return to A-Basin comes after retirement from a multidecade teaching and coaching career in Eagle and Summit counties. This year, he was honored by Colorado Ski Country USA with the 2021 Guest Service Professional of the Year award.
The award came at the ski area that has been home for Koetteritz ever since he traveled across the country on a road trip in the early ’80s.
“After college, I came out with three of my college buddies in a van,” Koetteritz said. “We landed right here at Arapahoe Basin as part of a big trip we had planned, but I never left here. A couple took off, but for me to be in Colorado — it just became my home.”
Koetteritz went on to work for A-Basin and Keystone Resort — under one umbrella, at the time — through 1983 before working at the Rec Sports ski shop at the base of Peak 9 in Breckenridge through 1992.
“My fellow managers and I learned all about the secret powder stashes on Breckenridge’s mountain back then,” he said.
Koetteritz then taught through the early 2000s in the Eagle County School District, where he also was a high school athletic director and coach, before returning to Summit County in 2005 as a high school social studies teacher, and track and football coach, before his 2018 retirement.
“Then I came back to the Basin because I knew that’s where I wanted to be,” Koetteritz said. “I knew retirement wouldn’t be full retirement, so to be back here working and back skiing, it’s a dream come true again.”
In his time in Summit County, Koetteritz has also seen his children achieve athletic success. His son, John, was a state championship qualifying swimmer and golfer. He also played hockey with his sister Jacquelyn, who was a sports star in her own right, playing Division 1 at Union College in New York after becoming the first Summit High School girl to play on the boys hockey team, something that has become a trend in recent years.
Koetteritz’s younger daughters Christina and Emily are sports standouts, as well. Christina is a 2020 graduate and lacrosse and volleyball player while Emily is currently one of the high school’s best multisport athletes, excelling in volleyball, basketball, and track and field.
“I think the general lifestyle of people in Summit County gets carried on to children, the active love of the outdoors, skiing, biking — whatever it may be,” Koetteritz said.
Back at the Basin, Koetteritz basks in his ideal Summit County retirement, one that involves driving up U.S. Highway 6 toward Loveland Pass, coming around the corner and being in awe of where he works every day. He then enjoys what he did all those years ago: helping people try out new skis before skiing some of his favorite lines.
“Anything off the Pali Chair,” he said.
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