In support of the Crowns
Dear Editor:Mr. Daly’s recent letter (“Crown dynasty steps on the little man,” Feb. 10, 2011, The Aspen Times) follows the same old formula that others have written, bashing the Crowns starting by going over the family’s net worth. These numbers may or may not be true (I doubt even Forbes has actually seen their IRS documents) but that clearly is not germane. The argument is over the pay of an inexperienced first-time ski instructor. Nowhere should the monetary net worth of a family be the determining factor in the pay scale of an employee. They should be paid, in my opinion, according to their experience level as well as their worth in the industry. If they feel they are underpaid they should either prove why they are worth more or find another job (as long as the employer is following the law).As for Mr. Daly’s other assertion, that because the Crowns have decided to invest in properties such as the Limelite, D&E Sports as well as others, this is somehow a bad thing. There clearly is no monopoly in ski shops. Gene Taylor’s, Christy’s, Aspen Sports, Up, Sunset, Sure foot and The Foot Foundation, just to name a few, are still in business. The Sweet Life, Base Camp, The Stew Pot, the Waffle Shack, Brothers, Artisan, etc. – not to mention all the non-Skico owned restaurants in Aspen are still in business. To claim it should be illegal to own certain shops and hotels is un-American and would allow governmental interference in what a private citizen can own. No one should want that. Is Mr. Daly going to be the arbiter of the amount one can own or the amount of net worth that is OK? My point is that if one thinks that a pay scale is too low, argue that. The other issues, red herrings, actually distract and hurt the argument. To me the Crowns run an excellent company with great employees, put out a quality product and have done much for the valley. It has been their investment that has made Aspen/Snowmass the world-class resort that it is and has enabled many businesses to thrive that might not otherwise have had the opportunity. The Crowns and Skico may not be perfect but they try. My family and I plan on a lifetime of skiing with Skico and hopefully the Crowns and their successors will continue to invest in the valley.Adam BeckermanSnowmass Village and Muttontown, N.Y.
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