David Perry: Aspen’s newer, hipper image | AspenTimes.com
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David Perry: Aspen’s newer, hipper image

Allyn Harvey
David Perry, Skico vice president of operations, atop Aspen Mountain in late December. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.
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When David Perry first rolled into town three years ago, buzzing around in a late-model Audi station wagon and very much looking the ski-guy part, one had to wonder if he would be any different than the previous marketing bosses at the Aspen Skiing Co.

After all, for the past two decades, the city and ski resort of Aspen had been portraying themselves as the most exclusive of places to spend a winter vacation. The effort culminated with the Skico’s marketing slogan “Uncrowded by Design,” as if the empty ski slopes and declining skier visits were the plan all along.It seemed that Perry was destined to oversee the continuing decline of a world-class resort that opted to become a country club.Boy, how a few years can change one’s mind.

Since Perry took the helm, the Aspen Skiing Co. has seen its massive Base Village proposal at Snowmass Ski Area approved with little objection from the community, inked a three-year deal to host ESPN’s Winter X Games, turned Buttermilk (The ‘Milk) into a massive terrain park and jibber’s paradise, and committed itself to developing as much extreme terrain at Aspen Highlands as possible.Down in town, the city of Aspen has opened its streets to music and entertainment in conjunction with Skico events. We’ve seen jibbers performing tricks in the gondola plaza and rock bands blowing it out in the street. In short, Perry and his colleagues at the Skico have all but arrested the “Resort Alzheimer’s” that afflicted Aspen with a bold injection of cool.Ideally, young skiers and snowboarders now associate the word “Aspen” with something more than jewelry stores and aging movie stars.

To give all the credit to Perry would be a mistake. But the fact is he’s played a key role in keeping the company and the town focused on the overriding goal of making Aspen (or Aspen/Snowmass, as the Skico would have it) a place that people of all ages want to visit in the winter.Instead of bragging about all the people who aren’t coming to Aspen with slogans like “Uncrowded by Design,” the company is marketing itself and the resort as someplace special and vibrant, where there are four ski mountains with every kind of terrain imaginable.That’s the “Power of Four,” and the power of David Perry.


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