Ski Co Managing Partner Jim Crown Dies in Tragic Accident in Aspen, CO

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James Crown
Paula and James Crown at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC. | Picture: Colorado Sun

The Pitkin County Coroner’s Office is investigating the death of James Crown, the Managing Partner of Aspen Skiing Company (known locally as ‘Ski Co’), the management company of Aspen Buttermilk Resort, CO. Crown, 70, from Chicago, Illinois and part time Pitkin County resident, was involved in a single vehicle accident at the Aspen Motorsports Park in Woody Creek. The official cause of death is pending autopsy although mutliple blunt force trauma is evident. The manner is accident. The investigation by the Pitkin County Coroner’s Office is ongoing and in coordination with the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado State Patrol. Due to the ongoing investigation, no further details will be released at this time.

Born James Schine Crown on June 25, 1953, in Chicago, IL, Jim was the grandson of industrialist billionaire Henry Crown. Jim Crown attended Hampshire College, MA, earning a B.A. in Political Science in 1976. Subsequently he earned a Law Degree from Stanford Law School, CA, in 1980. He then joined Investment Bank Salomon Brothers Inc in New York City, NY. In April 1985, he returned to Chicago to join his family’s investment firm, Henry Crown & Company. The privately held investment firm was estimated to be worth $10.2 billion in 2020 by Forbes.

The Crown family purchased half of Aspen Skiing Co. in 1985 and bought out other owners in 1993. In 2017 the family partnered with Denver’s KSL Capital Partners to create Alterra Mountain Co. Aspen Skiing in recent years, expanded into hospitality with its Limelight Hotels in Aspen, Snowmass, Denver, and Ketchum, Idaho.

The Crown family also has a significant connection to General Dynamics Corporation. General Dynamics is a major aerospace and defense company that designs, manufactures, and supports various military and civilian products. In the 1950s, Henry Crown’s son, Lester Crown, developed a relationship with David S. Lewis, the CEO of General Dynamics. This relationship eventually led to the Crown family acquiring a substantial stake in General Dynamics. Since then, the Crown family has been a long-term investor in General Dynamics, and their involvement in the company has continued through subsequent generations. General Dynamics has been involved in various defense projects, including producing military vehicles, submarines, fighter jets, and other defense systems.

Jim Crown is survived by his parents, his wife Paula, six siblings, and his children Torie, Hayley, W. Andrew, Summer Crown, his son-in-law Matt McKinney, and two grandchildren, Jackson, and Lucas McKinney. 

Jim Crown
Managing Partner Jim Crown died on Sunday, June 25, 2023, on his 70th birthday. | Picture: Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

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