I’m sorry for comments in yesterday’s column that offended some hard-working employees at Aspen Skiing Co. and some visitors.
In the column, I was bemoaning the measly discount on a full-day lift ticket when the conditions are so crummy. I was critical about having to fork over $59 when the weather (rain, hail and just a bit of snow) and trail conditions were so bad. I also pointed out that the gondola was acting up, and it took 25 minutes to reach the Sundeck at 2 p.m.
That’s where I blew it. The gondola was not, in fact, “acting up.” It was moving slowly and stopping often to accommodate the disabled veterans who come to town every year around this time to do the mountain-sports thing or just hang out.
So sorry first to our visitors. No offense intended. I think what you guys are doing here and have done in the past is something to admire.
Sorry second to the lift maintenance crew at Aspen Mountain, who took an unfair shot in yesterday’s column. If you think about how long the lifts like the gondola, 1A and F.I.S. have been in operation, and then think about how seldom they actually break down, the work the lift maintenance crews perform is pretty darn impressive. Yeah, it’s just their job, but they do it well.
And finally, sorry to the ski patrollers, trail crew members and anyone else working hard to assist the disabled vets on and off the lift, running them out on the ridge on a snowcat and doing whatever the day demanded.
But no apologies to whomever set that ticket price. Fifty-nine dollars is just way too much to pay given the state of the mountain these days. Heck, Skico, you should be paying us to be up there on a rainy April day that turned the snow so thick that it makes the idea of skiing comically heavy snows – Sierra Cement and Cascade Concrete – sound epic.
Going into the last three days of the season, Skico’s counting 77 inches at the top of Snowmass and 54 at the midmountain. Ajax is reported to have 54 on top and 45 in the middle.
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For the first time ever last season, skier visits generated by ski passes exceeded skier visits from single- and multi-day lift ticket sales at U.S. resorts, according to a study for National Ski Areas Association.