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Marketing works? Prove it

Dear Editor:

Every morning I pick up our local papers, The Aspen Times and Aspen Daily News, and I’m never surprised at any thing I read.

The Holy Cross chairman wanting to nip Skico’s influence is nothing new. In about 1990, I worked the telephone campaign for Skico to get people to vote the way Skico wanted them to. Notice how Skico is buying up what it can of Aspen? They would love to run the whole town! Aspen was originally built by working people but since I started to come to Aspen in 1955, it has become a town geared to greed and take them for what you can!

City Hall doesn’t seem to understand that there is a world-wide economic crisis that is affecting the whole world, not just Aspen. Now they want to raise the lodging tax again – keep sticking it to tourists is their motto. Working-class people can’t afford to come to Aspen/Snowmass anymore due to the high prices of everything you need to enjoy the visit. Now, the airport runways need to be extended to accommodate bigger plane loads; don’t they know that 70 percent of people drive into Aspen because they can’t afford to fly?

Most people who started to come to Aspen in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s came because of word of mouth from friends, not because of marketing. Marketing has its place, but it is not a cure-all for all that ails Aspen! I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of these people, and they try many ideas, but they don’t always work so they try something else. ACRA is now asking for more money again to sell Aspen, which will cost visitors more again. When will it stop? If they get the increase they are crying for ($1.5 million), can they guarantee a $4 million or $5 million return on it? Hell no, they are just hoping and crossing their fingers!

Late in the ski season, there was some great snow, and a short surge of skiers came in. ACRA claimed it was their marketing that did it. Baloney! Last trip of the season skiers come every year. Aspen is known over the entire world and has been for 50 years, and I always have wondered about all the millions spent on marketing and what effect less marketing would have on the final bottom line.

I’m extending a challenge to Aspen City Hall and ACRA to take a complete survey and study between June 1 and Oct. 1 and find out how many people came to Aspen/Snowmass due to marketing material they were exposed to. Then come out with an honest report and see if the investment paid off – and no doctored totals. It would be very interesting to say the least!

Chris Tessem

Basalt


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