Lift Lines: John Gilmour
If you’re a lift operator in Aspen, and you happen to have a birthday during the ski season, you might want to get to know John Gilmour, who used to own a high-performance snowboard company called Madd Snowboards.
“Lifties that have a birthday during ski season, essentially they get no love, … and nothing’s more depressing for a liftie when their friends can’t afford to come here and neither can their parents and they’re working on their birthday.” Gilmour said on the Silver Queen Gondola at Aspen Mountain on Jan. 21. “I just like to brighten up their birthday.”
The snowboarder who splits his time between Aspen and Laguna Beach, California, shows his appreciation through shellfish with a program he calls “Lobsters for Lifties,” doling out hand-caught lobsters to lift operators on their birthdays.
“I scuba dive at night and catch them and I bring a bunch up here and treat the lifties to this delicious split-roasted lobster where I parboil them, and then I put tarragon butter in there and roast it on their barbecues, and they're just stoked,” Gilmour said.
To learn the lifties' birthdays, Gilmour just asks, he said. Anyone who’s “lucky enough” to have a birthday when he’s still in town (Gilmour usually leaves by April) gets their name on his lobster radar.