Hey, Skico: Duh! | AspenTimes.com

Hey, Skico: Duh!

Dear Editor:

I could not help but laugh at the article in the Aug. 25 issue of the Daily News regarding the Skico’s inability to find buyers for their new Keator Grove employee-housing complex in Carbondale.

Mr. Laing’s quote that the Skico thought there would be enough buyers “within their own ranks” made me wonder what kind of fantasy world the Skico is living in. Mr. Laing goes on to say that somehow the “internal demand isn’t as high as expected.” Duh! When you take into account that the mean salaries of most Skico employees range from $8 to $11 per hour, how could these people possibly quality for homes ranging between $359,000 to $499,000?

Now I am not a mathematician, but I think that with such ridiculously low wages, it is truly unlikely that any employees could qualify for such homes, even if they wanted to. Let’s not blame the current difficult “lending picture” as Mr. Laing does. Let’s blame this inability to purchase on the real issue, the extremely low salaries that the Skico persistently has been paying its employees throughout the years.

Why does the Skico need to import hundreds of foreigners every year for their lifts, restaurants and ski/snowboard schools? Because locals who would love to work in the ski industry simply cannot afford to live in this valley on $8 to $11 per hour! Yes, these are fun jobs but let’s get real. Simply put, the extremely high cost of living here does not allow locals to survive on such wages.

If the Skico wants to be in the local employee-housing business, then they should start paying salaries commensurate with the cost of living in this amazing valley! Perhaps then the local employees they wish to serve would be able to qualify for the Keator Grove employee-housing units.

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Catherine Cross

Aspen

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