Hogwarts for Powderhounds: Ski Wizard Bode Miller Launches CO Academy

CAMPING GEAR

If your teenage skier is ready to transcend mere mortals on the slopes, consider Bode Miller’s new academy.

Unassuming Granby Ranch Ski Resort will soon host a prep academy led by an American skiing icon. Miller partnered with the small resort’s new operators to finalize the decision, announced in a Dec. 17 press conference.

The Bode Miller Ski Academy Foundation will be an academic learning and on-snow training facility for high school-aged athletes. The 501(c)3 nonprofit will offer alpine, freestyle, nordic, and adaptive snowsports programs for 125 to 165 aspirants.

Miller appears to have selected the location for its tranquil atmosphere. Andy Wirth is CEO and president of Ridgeline Executive Group Inc., which runs Granby Ranch. He commented on Miller’s decision.

“When Bode joined me on a visit to Granby Ranch, he said, ‘This is perfect. It’s a perfect training venue and a perfect spot for an academy,’” Wirth said. “[Granby] is not Vail. It’s not Whistler. It’s going to take on kids who want a great education and with an exceptional academic offering and also athletic development.”

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Bode Miller Says His Ski Academy Will ‘Reset’ National Standards

Now 44 years old, Miller himself comes from a ski academy background. At the Friday press conference, he credited his success on and off the racecourse to his experiences at Maine’s Carrabassett Valley Academy.

“It shaped me into who I was,” Miller said. “It was the foundation to becoming successful on the World Cup circuit, but also the foundation for being a human being, capable of understanding other people, managing life.”

bode miller ski academy
Miller speaks at the press conference.

He went on to levy an opinion that most existing academies around the country are behind the times. “I felt we needed to reset the bar. There’s a number of great academies across the country, but it’s really hard for them to evolve and change,” he said.

“They’re inherently somewhat stagnant. I think we have the opportunity now to reset that bar using modern technologies and modern thought processes around education and developing athletes’ character and grit.”

Academy Details, Construction, and Timeline

The forthcoming academy’s representatives say inclusivity will be a pillar of its approach. They pledged that scholarships and financial aid will be available for students from every economic background.

As designed, the ski academy itself will mimic a classic Austrian chalet. Its 60,000-85,000 square feet will comprise several floors, outside terraces, and ski-in, ski-out access.

Public dining and retail fill the ground floor. The upper floors will hold classrooms, gymnasiums, and development facilities. A separate dormitory will house roughly 30 boarding students.

Denver-based architect and author Don Ruggles leads the design. At the press conference, he explained the ideas that underpin the structure.

“Without getting into too much science, we’re using patterns that human beings intuitively understand,” Ruggles said. “We’re trying to create a barrier-free structure, where the students can … be boarded, get down and out of the building and onto the ski slope easily. Whether it’s adaptive or freestyle or nordic or alpine — all disciplines, barrier-free, ski in and ski out.”

Bode Miller will take it from there. Wirth said construction estimates clock in at $25-30 million. He set an “optimistic” opening date for the 2025-26 academic year. To learn more, you can watch the entire press conference on Facebook.

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