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Heaping praise on Skico

Editor’s note: The following letter is intended for the executives of Aspen Skiing Co.

Dear Editor:

As I was sailing through fresh powder on Highlands the other day, yelling “best day EVER” for the 20th time this season, it occurred to me – I am genuinely grateful for what you do …

Thank you for getting us (non-skinners) up the hill – fast – for some of the best skiing in the world, for 150 days a year, whether blue sky or blizzard.

Thank you for leaving Highlands open till April 24 (at a loss, I’m sure – we’re all gliding into the finish on our season passes, and there are no L.A. tourists ordering $400 champagne at Cloud 9).

Thank you for little (important) things like keeping the trail to Hyde Park open.

Thank you for hiring all those wacky Argentinians, Brazilians, Aussies and South Africans in addition to locals – it makes it one big international party.

Thank you for keeping the spirit of – while improving – slope-side restaurants (although the Ullrhoff still desperately needs help, and Merry-Go-Round is already perfect).

Thank you for providing ways for impecunious locals to get a season pass through voluntary service (i.e. Highlands boot-packing, race-judging, etc.).

Thank you for little amenities like suntan lotion, coffee, Cliff bars, hot cider, and on “Guest Appreciation Day” (Wednesdays at Highlands) free Hebrew National Hot-dogs (although you sort of have to hike the Bowl to get ’em).

Thank you for the Ambassadors, who usually can put you in a good mood and undoubtedly are invaluable for the touristas (and in the case of Rob Pew, blast amazing ’70s soundtracks – Talking Heads to Motown)

Thank you for all of your wacky Big-Air competitions, concerts, Nor Ams, World Cup races, Free Ride Championships, closing day extravaganzas, all designed to make our ski experience 360 degree-larger-than-life.

Thank you for letting us skin up the various mountains – Vail or Sun Valley would never bother to accommodate a minority of AT fanatics.

Thank you for allowing lifties to play whatever they want (apparently) – how else do you explain the full-volume thrash metal at the bottom of Cloud 9?

Thank you for the cowboy-with-moustache liftie at Big Burn who only plays Beethoven, Hayden, or Mozart.

Thank you for keeping us at the cutting edge of the class with X Games, World Cup, and AVSC (which has turned out over half of the Junior Olympians this year).

Thank you for inventing even more insane races like the 4 Mountain one – I was hiking the Bowl (step-by-step, up the steep ridge) and was passed by the leader skinning past me! And he’d already been up (and down) Snowmass and Buttermilk!

In short, if this were a movie, you would be nominated for Academy Awards – for plot, directing, special effects, soundtrack, and supporting actors (that would be us – we do our part. If you don’t believe me, check out the Pond-slide at Highlands).

Thank you for enriching my life, and those of all other Aspenites.

Kevin Ward

Snowmass


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