Chaotic opening day | AspenTimes.com

Chaotic opening day

We are writing to thank the community for coming out in such strong numbers for the opening of Aspen Mountain. With 3,200 pass holders on the mountain, you proved that Aspen is and forever will be a real ski town.

Unfortunately, we let you down, with the Gent’s Ridge chair running unreliably and at an even slower than usual pace. We also did not effectively communicate the status of trail openings and the re-opening of “The Couch.” For many of you, a spectacular early opening day was not as perfect as we all wanted it to be.

The Gent’s Ridge chair had a small problem on Friday, but was fixed and appeared to be running well that afternoon and Saturday morning. However, as with all lifts, there can be small electrical problems which arise the first day a lift is run under full load, as was the case on Saturday.

We also had not planned to open Spar Gulch or Copper, because, without man-made snow, Little Nell would not withstand much traffic. We intentionally refrained from officially announcing the opening of that terrain to avoid a long line-up of people waiting for the ropes to drop, which we thought might produce the dreaded “Chinese Downhill” effect.

We offer this information as an explanation, not an excuse. We were not our best on Saturday and we apologize for that.

We hope you will join us in remembering that it is only mid-November and Walsh’s, among other trails, is in better shape than it was most of last year. Our ski patrol, lift crew, groomers, ticket sellers and others dropped their fall plans, jobs and personal commitments to open the mountains for you.

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We hope to see you on the hill next weekend, and keep thinking snow!

Mike Kaplan

Steve Sewell

Aspen Skiing Co.

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