Silverton Mountain ski area sold to Aspen-based adventure travel company

Aaron and Jenny Brill began building the steep and deep, expert-only ski area in the remote San Juans ski area nearly 25 years ago

Skiers descend Silverton Mountain in February 2022.
Jason Blevins/Courtesy photo photo

Aaron and Jenny Brill are selling Silverton Mountain, the ski area the couple started building in the remote San Juans more than 24 years ago. 

“It’s a pretty emotional day,” said Aaron Brill, who in 1999 landed in Silverton after scouring the West for locations to establish a no-frills, steep-and-deep ski hill for expert skiers. 

The Brills are selling to Andy Culp and Brock Strasbourger, whose 7-year-old Aspen-based Heli Adventures Inc. offers an online marketplace for heli-skiing and adventure travel. The adventure travel company in late 2022 purchased a boutique heli-skiing operation and lodge in British Columbia

The Brills began looking for an investor in 2022 as the ski industry weathered the shutdowns of the pandemic. The search for investors morphed into a possible sale. The Brills since the mid-2000s have guided helicopter skiers in Alaska and the couple’s Silverton Mountain Guides has more than 25 million acres of permitted terrain across Alaska. The Brills are not selling their Alaska heliskiing operation. 

Aaron had exacting requirements for a buyer. A new owner would have to retain every one of the ski area’s 50 employees. They had to share the vision for the ski area with a “strong passion for skiing” and “were not golf course-slash-real estate guys,” he said. And they had to have deep pockets to keep the ski area vibrant.

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