Who likes lids?
January 15, 2007
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN When you see Aspen Skiing Co. President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Kaplan on the slopes, the chances are good that he is wearing a helmet.Kaplan, a skier and snowboarder, said he has made it a personal choice to wear one almost always. The only exception, he said, is when is skins up Tiehack or one of the other hills for a noon workout.Personal choice is the key phrase here – Kaplan chooses to lead by example on this issue, not by mandate. In a recent interview, the Skico’s new top executive said safety will remain a paramount issue under his leadership. That begged the question: Will he make helmets mandatory for ski pros since they have influence over so many students each winter? And what about other employee who spend time on the slopes?”We do ask them, we just don’t tell them,” Kaplan said.He went on to say that helmet use is “strongly encouraged” and that the company makes lids available for employees at a discounted price.Granted, the question was a loaded one. Kaplan would probably have a revolt on his hands if he required workers like pros and patrollers to wear helmets.So what if he mandated helmets for new hires and let veterans stick to their personal choices? No dice, Kaplan said.”In the end, safety is taking responsibility for your actions,” he said.The psychology behind helmet choice among snow sliders would make for an interesting study. In very general terms, it appears helmets are most popular with skiers and riders on opposite ends of the age spectrum – seniors and kids. (Helmets are required for children taking lessons from the Skico.)A lot of 20-somethings seem to be wearing lids. Use appears mixed among people in their 30s, 40s and 50s.Kaplan said there is a definite generational trend among Skico employees: “Quite frankly, the new hires are wearing them,” he said.