Welcome Chris Blackwell

Hello Afton Team,

I wanted to take some time to introduce myself, provide a little background and thank you for all of your hard work in making Afton Alps where Epic begins!

This new adventure is a “coming back home”, of sorts. I have spent the greater part of the past 22 years living and working in Breckenridge, Colorado.  However, my passion for skiing was born at Afton Alps and the surrounding ski areas of the Twin Cities. Growing up near Mahtomedi, our family’s weekends were spent in the local ice arena playing competitive hockey or on the ski slopes, learning how to ski and snowboard. At the age of fifteen, my family moved from Minnesota to Breckenridge and a few years later, my career with Vail Resorts began.

Over the past eighteen years, I have had the opportunity to work with a plethora of operational departments including Lift Operations, Product Sales and Services, Scanning, & Guest Services. Most recently, as the Director of Base Area Operations, I have led our Parking, Grounds Maintenance, Transportation, Warehouse, Employee Center, Fleet Maintenance and Community Relations teams.

To say I am excited to be back home in Minnesota is truly an understatement and I am honored to be able to work with the entire Afton team. When I am not at work, you can find me spending time with my sixteen-year-old son, Jayden, trail running, mountain biking, playing golf and checking out St. Paul’s newest breweries.

I wanted to congratulate everyone on an incredible start to the 19/20 winter season. Thank you in advance for your dedication to safety and all of your hard work in delivering an Experience of a Lifetime for our guests and employees. 

Understanding what makes Afton Alps unique and how we can continuously improve the employee and guest experience will be my first goal moving forward.  I therefore invite you to join our GM round table meetings during the dates and times below to share your perspective.


December 16th | 6:00 - 7:00pm | Oakwood Room | Accompanied by Justin Folger

January 12th | 5:00 - 6:00pm | Oakwood Room  | Accompanied by  Nathan Hakseth

January 22nd | 6:00 - 7:00pm | Meadows Den | Accompanied by Chelsie MIller Zoller

February 6th | 6:00 - 7:00pm | Oakwood Room  | Accompanied by Lindsey Thompson

March 9th | 6:00 - 7:00pm | Oakwood Room | | Accompanied by Bessy Muller


Wishing everyone a safe and fun season!

Chris Blackwell 

General Manager