On The Hill: Pete Isert
When photographs of Breckenridge pop up in a ski or snowboard magazine or appear in the latest Warren Miller ski video, it’s a pretty sure bet that Pete Isert had some involvement in making it happen. As the special events manager for Breckenridge Ski Resort, Isert heads up all sorts of happenings at the resort, from photo shoots with professional skiers and riders in the terrain park to the locals’ favorite Bump Buffet. Isert recalled the biggest event of this season as December’s USSA Snowboarding Grand Prix, which garnered even more exposure than normal because it served as an Olympic qualifier this year.
“That added a little bit of pressure because there are a lot of athletes who are counting on the event to be as good as it usually is so they can either qualify or not,” Isert said.The resort has been trying to step up the exhibition events that complement the Grand Prix, and this year, Isert collaborated with the USSA to create a quarter-pipe in the parking lots off Park Avenue in town.”I think halfpipe events can be pretty static, you know, to try to do something else with it – whether it’s downtown or on the mountain or with music or at night – is well worth our time and effort and expense,” Isert said.For a month before the event, the town trucked in a total of 6,000 cubic yards of snow from its streets into the parking lots instead of dropping off the snow in its regular storage area.
“(The trucks) just kept coming and coming and each day I’d come to work, I was like, all right that’s good, a little more, a little more. Then I was like, wow I think we’re going to have too much, but we didn’t. We used every bit of it,” Isert said.The operations crew converted the massive snow piles into a huge quarter-pipe that riders hit in front of hundreds of fans.Following the Grand Prix, the week-long American Free Ski Tour slopestyle event stopped in Breckenridge, attracting a top field of skiers.
Besides working with different organizations to stage big events at Breckenridge, Isert also spends time shuffling through “tons” of requests from large and small companies to conduct photo shoots at the resort.”It’s a nice position to be in that Breck is a pretty hot commodity; people want to be here,” he said.Isert is a Colorado native who grew up on the Front Range and attended CU Boulder. Following college, he worked internationally doing environmental biology projects for almost a decade. After traveling to South America, the Middle East, Africa and the former Soviet Union for work, he quit and began planning big road bike races around Boulder. He moved to Southern California briefly before he relocated to Colorado, and took the job at Breckenridge.Breckenridge closes for the winter Sunday with the annual Bump Buffet telemark skiing contest.
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