Aspen to give kiosks a whirl |

Aspen to give kiosks a whirl

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

The Aspen Skiing Co.’s plan to place promotional kiosks around the downtown core won unanimous approval from the City Council on Monday.

The Skico hopes to have the trio of kiosks up by Christmas. Three sides of the 6.5-foot tall stands will be used to promote Skico events and its four mountains; the city will have one side on each stand to promote activities and organizations of its choosing. Each side will be 3 feet wide.

“I think we’re opening up a little bit of a can of worms here,” said Councilwoman Rachel Richards, who wondered how much commercialization would come with the names of corporate sponsors displayed on the Skico’s panels.

“We’re not going to have an event logo that’s ostentatious or absurd,” said John Rigney, director of event marketing for the company.

On the other hand, Richards predicted the city would be inundated with requests from nonprofit groups to use Aspen’s panels on the kiosks and urged the Skico to design a kiosk with more than four sides to handle the demand.

The council agreed to give the kiosks a try for a year, though Councilman Torre suggested the experiment run just through the ski season.

The city may be looking at installation of its own informational kiosks, he noted. Retail consultants hired by the city have recommended kiosks to help orient visitors to the downtown area.

“We’re never going to agree on an Aspen kiosk by summer anyway,” said Councilman Tim Semrau, urging his colleagues to approve a yearlong trial.

“I like the idea. I think we should do it,” said Mayor Helen Klanderud. “I definitely think it’s worth a year’s experiment.”

The Skico proposal is a good way for the council to find out if it likes the kiosk approach, added John Worcester, city attorney.

“It’s on their dime,” he said. “It’s a cheap way to experiment with a kiosk.”

The kiosks will cost about $3,000 apiece, according to Rigney, plus about $200 each time a new sign is fabricated to display on the panels. The Skico is willing to pick up the cost of signs for the city’s panels if the city doesn’t want it changed more than once or twice during the year, he said.

If the city wants to alter its kiosk displays continually, that may come at some cost to the city.

Klanderud suggested the city consider displays on its panels that change with the seasons instead of constantly.

The Parks Department has some ideas to promote recreational opportunities that change from season to season, said director Jeff Woods.

“I think we can do something that is a very nice orientation to our community,” he said.

The chosen locales for the kiosks are: near the fountain at Mill Street and Hyman Avenue; on the mall at the corner of Galena and Cooper; and at Rubey Park near the Highlands bus stop.

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail is

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