The pretty blonde rides a vintage bicycle, wearing both a perma-grin and high heels, even in winter.
“I always ride an old bike. Like my 1963 Schwinn with the basket,” says Jill Murwin. “Lyon [France, where she’s lived half time for 27 years now] has 365 bike stations. You pay $25 for unlimited use of any bike for a year. Now that’s a bike-friendly town.”
The Midwest native landed in Park City in 1987 after a college skiing scholarship brought her west. She worked at (now closed) Mileti’s as a prep cook and waited tables “at a tiny place called Curly’s Café [also no longer in business]. Curly was, of course, bald.” She was a ski host at Park City Ski Area and then assistant to the vice president. Then Murwin’s life went international.
She went to work for the US Postal Pro Cycling Team in 1996, recruiting riders to build a strong enough group to compete in the Tour de France in 1997. “Behind every great athlete is a great support team,” she says. During her time with the team (spanning 10 Tour de France events), Murwin started a VIP sponsorship program, worked as a media liaison, helped collect prize money, and generally took care of the riders. “They called me ‘Mom,’” she says.
Once she returned stateside, Murwin co-ran a bicycle touring company for 11 years. Now she’s owner and operator of her own travel company, Chasing Atlas, named after her 14-year-old daughter. “She needs to know that no matter how busy I am, she’s the center of my life,” she says, although she still manages to design 25 customized trips a year. “I keep it hands-on. I’m known for cycling, but I always try to talk people into other experiences, too.” Like cooking with Carlos Gaytan, a finalist on Top Chef and chef at a Michelin-starred Chicago eatery, or shopping in Paris complete with lunch at her Vogue executive friend’s flat.
“I’ve done Tour de France trips with the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team: we had our own team soigneur, team bikes, and even a team car!” Murwin says. “My favorite thing to do is uncover new and interesting people to share with my clients. Each person in the world is really great at something. It’s what makes the world go ’round. And, the pleasure is sharing connections, exploring the world, and enjoying a great meal together.”