The managing partner of Aspen Skiing Co. when it was owned by Miller-Klutznick-Davis-Gray Co., Thomas J. Klutznick, died Jan. 4 in assisted living in Evanston, Ill.

Klutznick was 79 and had lived in Woody Creek until 2008, at which time he returned to the Chicago area, according to an obituary in the Chicago Tribune. The cause of death was listed as complications from dementia.

A developer who was the son of a developer, Klutznick became managing partner in 1982 of the real estate firm Miller-Klutznick-Davis-Gray Co. which owned two showcase resort companies, Aspen Skiing Co. and Pebble Beach Co. in Monterey, Calif.

The Davis in the partnership was Marvin Davis, who at the time was the majority owner of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. along with another part-time Aspenite, Rupert Murdoch.

Twentieth Century Fox had purchased public shares in Aspen Skiing Co. beginning in June 1978, according to a story last year in The Aspen Times. Davis took SkiCo private in 1981 and packaged it with other companies and then sold interests, including a subsidiary of Aetna Life Insurance and to the Miller-Klutznick-Davis-Gray group.

Miller-Klutznick-Davis-Gray would sell 50 percent of SkiCo to the Crown family, who are its current owners, in 1985. The Crowns would acquire the rest of the ski company eight years later.

Klutznick’s daughter Karen told the Chicago Tribune that her father played “a leading role in the planning and development of The Inn and Links at Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach and the Little Nell Hotel.”

Tom Klutznick’s influence is seen on Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago where with his father Philip, he developed Water Tower Place, which opened in the 1970s and is an early and successful example of mixed-use development, according to the Tribune article.

In Denver, Klutznick’s projects included City Center, the Qwest Tower and in Boston he developed Copley Place. Klutznick retired from the firm that bears his name in 2009.

Madeleine Osberger is a Contributing Editor for Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at or on Twitter @Madski99