On the hill: Hey, wait, Aspen is a damn fine place for skiers | AspenTimes.com

On the hill: Hey, wait, Aspen is a damn fine place for skiers

nytimes.comAspen's downtown fire hearth gets a plug in The New York Times' Ski Guide 2011.

ASPEN – The New York Times did Aspen and Snowmass no favors with their online, multimedia Ski Guide 2011 that was posted this week.

First, Aspen-Snowmass got featured in the category titled “For the Nonskier.” And to add insult to injury, the infamous fire hearth at Cooper and Galena was used to illustrate the segment.

The placement of Aspen and Snowmass Village in the category of top resorts for nonskiers goes against the grain of what the Aspen Skiing Co. has been trying to accomplish with its marketing campaigns the last few years. It’s been trying to enhance its position with hard-core skiers and riders, and rankings in recent publications like Freeskier and TransWorld Snowboarding show it’s been successful.

Featuring the fire hearth fans the flames of a controversy over whether a town that professes a strong environmental ethic should even have a fossil-fuel burning fire pit outdoors.

Here’s what The New York Times had to say, in part, about Aspen-Snowmass in its ski guide: “Long a playground for celebrities like Kate Hudson and Jack Nicholson, Aspen has the right mix of shopping, night life, culture, spas and noteworthy chefs to make for a great vacation whether you choose to ski or not.”

Yawn.

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Meanwhile, the three resorts featured in the “For the Extreme Skiers” category are Crested Butte; Red Mountain Resort, British Columbia; and Silverton Mountain, Colo.

In the category, “For the Luxury-Seeker,” the three profiled resorts are Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Vail and Whistler Blackcomb.

From a marketing perspective, it’s probably good that Aspen got mentioned. On the other hand, it sure would have been nice to be noted for something other a great place for nonskiers.

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