When Aaron Maddox took over the Snowy Range Ski Area in 2013, it was struggling to stay open. Five years later, the family-run resort is thriving and Maddox was recently honored with a national award.

This month, Ski Area Management named Maddox as a recipient of the 2018 Sammy Award for his work to help update Wyoming's outdoor recreation laws. Prior to the legislation, resorts could be held legally liable for injuries suffered by skiers and snowboarders. Maddox successfully lobbied for a new statute that acknowledges the physical risks of the sport.

Visitor numbers have also steadily increased since Maddox and his family purchased the resort.

"Five years ago, it was around 45,000 to 50,000. Last winter, it was about 70,000,” he told Steamboat Today.

Snowy Range Ski Area has touted affordability and location to lure families away from larger, more expensive resorts on the Front Range. Maddox has also upgraded the facilities, adding a cafeteria, day lodge, and brewery.