Aspen airport, get your ski passes here with pickup boxes |

Aspen airport, get your ski passes here with pickup boxes

Aspen Skiing Co. has 17 ticket pickup boxes scattered between Aspen and Snowmass Village, including this one at Aspen Mountain.
Rick Carroll/The Aspen Times

Guests claiming their bags at the Aspen airport don’t have to go too far to find lift tickets.

Aspen Skiing Co. is now using the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport to station one of its 17 pickup boxes that print lift tickets and passes for customers who pre-purchased them online to skip standing in line at the ticket office. 

The airport also is the only non-Skico-owned or operated property with a pickup box, which are user-operated and without an attendant. The other boxes are installed at the four local mountains operated by Skico. The transaction takes less than 90 seconds: customers scan a QR code from the Skico app at the pickup box, which then dispenses the lift tickets or season passes.

The pandemic spurred ski resorts to implement contactless ways for people to get their ski passes. Skico installed the pickup boxes during the 2020-21 season.

“The goal is to make our guests’ experience as easy as possible,” said Skico’s Jeff Hanle, vice president, communications. “Getting them from arrival to the slopes with as little friction as possible. Installing the pick up box at the airport will allow guests to pick up their tickets while they’re waiting for their bags. The next morning they can head straight for the slopes.”

Pitkin County manages and operates the airport, so its commissioners last week were asked to approve an agreement allowing Skico to lease approximately 15 square feet of the terminal space. ​​The lease agreement “would provide a small net positive revenue opportunity for the Airport while using currently unused space in the passenger terminal,” according to a county ordinance authorizing the lease agreement. 

“We saw this as an excellent idea from a customer-service aspect to our clientele who comes in and out of the airport but also to the Aspen Skiing Co. but it also allows them to reduce the number of trips they make to motels and resorts in the areas delivering ski tickets, so it takes some of the vehicle miles off the road for them as well, from an environmental standpoint,” airport director Dan Bartholomew told commissioners Dec. 21.

“I think it’s a great idea and it’s a good pilot to see what else we can do in a limited space out there,” said Commissioner Greg Poschman, noting the commission could explore other ways to utilize unused airport space for kiosks for other types of ticket sales or even a carbon-offset program “to help us make everything green here and electric.”

The retroactive lease agreement goes to a public and final hearing Jan. 11. The pickup boxes have been working since earlier this month. 

Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk (at Tiehack) each have one pickup station. The other 15 are spread between Aspen Mountain and Snowmass Village, including at Skico’s Four Mountain Sports retail locations and the Treehouse in Snowmass.