December 4, 2006
Dear Editor:As a sports fan, I am pleased to read about the World Cup alpine events that take place each year here in the U.S. It is no surprise that sites which continually host events have great national and international reputations such as Aspen, Vail/Beaver Creek or Deer Valley.It is obvious to anyone that visits these beautiful towns that the regional economies thrive off the winter sports industry. The restaurant owners, the hotel operators, the unique stores, the taxi shuttles, and most importantly the developers, real estate agents and builders, all exist at the fundamental basis because of tourism. Of course, every homeowner who has owned their home for more than three years has seen a gratuitous rise in home values, which many have tapped to live nice lifestyles.The whole town thrives off the ski resorts. If it weren’t for the ski resorts, the economies wouldn’t exist. It is not only the Aspen economy, but all the regional economies, which owe a lot of their goodwill to the ski resorts.So it is with utter surprise that I read about the Aspen community being too CHEAP or GREEDY when asked to step up to the plate to support an additional World Cup event. Of course this is not to mention the positive press it would bring to the national and international ski vacationers that are looking for a reliable source of snow-covered trails.The exact details probably won’t be revealed, but the blame belongs with the local leaders, the Chamber, and most importantly the business owners, developers and real estate agents that have been living off the good will of the ski area for their well being. Yes, it also includes you, Mr. Homeowner.The blame should not be placed on the ski resort or the USSA.The respectable thing would be to admit a strategic mistake was made by the community. Make a public press release and apologize to the FIS.Take a close look at what the FIS representatives are telling the European papers, they could talk a little more about the economics of the Aspen community. Yeah, it might not hurt in the next couple of years, but it could in 10 or 20 years. Take a close look at what the FIS representatives are telling the European papers.I suspect you won’t take the time to publish this and I don’t dispute that there are other fish to fry, like sufficient housing and the difficulty in finding labor. But they, too, relate back to lack of planning and the excessive, yet concentrated success of a thankless few.Martin BasvikSan Jose, Calif.