A knee-jerk reaction
December 2, 2002
(The letter was originally addressed to Mike Kaplan, senior vice president of mountain operations for the Aspen Skiing Co.)
My husband and I read with dismay the Skico’s decision to disallow families with infants to ski together.
With 50 years in this valley between the two of us, neither of us could recall an incident where anyone skiing with an infant in a front or back carrier had a problem.
I skied with our infant daughter in a front carrier until she was three months old, and my husband skied with her safely strapped in a framed kid backpack after that.
For us, long gone are the days of logging 100-plus ski days per season, but we purchased our Classic Passes with the anticipation of getting our now 2-year-old daughter on skis for the first time. With my husband guiding her, I would be able to enjoy the day on the hill with them and with our new son in the same front carrier I had used before. The new ruling discriminates against nursing mothers who no longer have the option to ski with the rest of the family.
I now consider our non-refundable passes to be valueless, and as you changed the rules just now you should be willing to refund them for us and any other family that this affects.
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What about parents who try to take turns skiing and entertaining their young kids at the Sundeck? Will the gondola operators be instructed to turn them away because the children need to ride in a pack to get there?
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find quality childcare, or how prohibitively expensive it is? I’m willing to bet that the concerned citizens that put the bug in your ear either don’t have young children or can afford to bring along their nannies on their vacations.
We’d like to tell them to mind their own business. Those of us that live and work here have been enjoying this sport, with or without kids, for a long time and we’ve done just fine, thank you.
Now that you’ve discovered that some other major Colorado resorts don’t allow kid packs (mostly crowded Front Range resorts among the list I read), the Skico is happy to jump on board in the name of safety. We see this as a knee-jerk reaction with no research done on the issue except to CYA (cover your assets).
As it is too much to hope that your attorneys will allow a reversal of your new ruling against young families, please be so kind as to publish the names of resorts that DO allow parents to ski with their infants so we can go there.
Danielle and Jay Hammond