Don’t cheapen Aspen |

Don’t cheapen Aspen

Dear Editor:

I have followed with great concern Mayor Ireland’s statements regarding his vision for what is the best strategy for Aspen’s image and marketing future. I am a longtime marketing and advertising professional, having been “born and raised” in New York’s finest agencies building and managing successful brand image strategies for such clients as Sony, Coca-Cola, BMW, and McDonald’s. Additionally I have been coming to Aspen since the winter of 1967-68 and a residence owner since the early ’80s.

Aspen has a priceless image, earned over decades. Our visitors expect the best: ambiance, skiing/boarding, mountain grooming, lifts, summer activities, entertainment, food, personal service, weather, lodging, the charm of a real town; not a prefab, high rise, crank ’em in, crank ’em out resort.

Irreparable harm is done to our priceless brand image by apologetic pricing.

Reward our visitors by giving them the sixth day free, not by lowering lift tickets by $10, $20 or even $30 a day. The same with equipment rentals, lodging, and so on.

McDonald’s doesn’t lower the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, 10-piece McNuggets by 50 cents; they wrap up good pricing in extra value meals ” meals that include the Big Mac, fries and a Coke for a good price. In that way they do not cheapen their image, while at the same time communicating good value. Obvious discounting has never benefited high quality brand sales on a sustaining basis.

I have a grave concern that Mayor Ireland will take the low road, resulting in very costly damage to Aspen’s mystique and appeal.

We would be best to leave the protection and projection of Aspen’s image in the hands of established professionals, not in the hands of dabbling amateurs.

Ralph Doran