On the Hill: Dont sweat early opening
November 18, 2006
I figure the Aspen Skiing Co. will provide me with plenty to bitch about this season, but charging everyone except premiere passholders for preseason skiing isnt one of them. The Skico announced it would open five days early this season, pushing opening day on Aspen Mountain to today from Thanksgiving Day. People who purchased a full-season pass get to ski for free. People who bought any other type of pass must pay $32 to hit the slopes early. As a two-day-per-week passholder, my first reaction when I learned I would have to pay $32 was, those money-grubbers. After I thought about it, my anger evaporated. I dont consider myself a Skico apologist, but I cant fault them for their decision. There are 150 measly acres opening on Aspen Mountain today. If they allowed every passholder to ski free on these five bonus days, it would be a less- than-stellar experience, and the slopes that opened would be skied off. In addition, customers were informed when they made their decisions of what pass to buy that only the full-season version entitled buyers to early-opening and extended-season days. Other passholders think they are entitled to the slopes for the next five days. The cruel reality is, we arent. So the way I figure it, that means people like me can shut up and stay off the slopes this weekend, cough up $32 to ski or find a compromise. Ive decided to skin up Tiehack for one glorious run Saturday. The Skico pricing can prevent me from riding the chairlifts on the early opening days, but it cant prevent me from hitting the slopes. So heres a reminder about the early opening: Ajax will be open today, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, as well as the annual benefit day for the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club. If you have a premiere pass, ski for free. If you have another pass, you must cough up $32. Prices for nonpassholders are $52 for adults, $42 for seniors and youths and $32 for children. (Separate pricing will be announced for the ski club benefit day.) The Aspen Times, Aspen, Colo.