Princess abused Skico’s trust |

Princess abused Skico’s trust

The Princess writes an entertaining column which I almost always enjoy reading.

Does she have the “right” to make disparaging remarks about her snowboard students and their parents? Certainly. Was the Skico right and responsible in firing her for doing so? Absolutely.

In fact, it would be irresponsible not to fire her. Skico employees represent the company not only when they are “on the clock,” but at any time they are in public speaking or writing about their work. These high profile employees have a responsibility, on or off the clock, to the company and its image when they are wearing their uniforms, or in any way referencing their work.

Skico has assumed an enormous and important responsibility for the impact the company has on the vibrancy of this community and the operation’s far-reaching influence on Aspen. Skico has invested massive amounts of financial and non-financial resources, and obviously takes seriously its image and Aspen’s image.

We should all hope that they continue to have high standards in employing people, most particularly instructors, (the highest profile positions), who would not insult customers or clients or detract from their experience here.

For readers who are screaming violation of “free speech” ” would they suggest that if The Princess worked in the Skico human resources department she should be free to write about interesting data gleaned from personnel records? Or if she worked the ticket sales window she should be allowed to verbally abuse customers if she is irritated with their questions?

The core issue is not her constitutional right to express her opinion. Presumably the Skico would agree that even a Princess has that constitutional “right.” But she has no “right” to maintain her job if she tarnishes the Skico’s image in exercising that freedom.

Far more relevant than her “rights” are the mutual responsibilities she, (as an employee) and Skico management have to build, not tarnish, their professional image. Ski instructors are the face of Skico to most visitors.

Skico stepped up to their responsibility ” surely knowing that some criticism would follow. The Princess abused their trust, her position and the responsibility it carried.

Maintaining a positive culture and image takes constant diligence in setting standards, in all areas ” financial, marketing, infrastructure, quality service and guest relations. The only way to maintain the image is to have the discipline to enforce the standards, to prevent others from chipping away at it.

We should all appreciate Skico’s financial and quality discipline, applied consistently over the years. Few resort communities have had such an advantage. We enjoy an incredible resort and community because of their willingness to make hard decisions to build the brand of Aspen-Snowmass and Aspen Skiing Co.

I applaud their responsibility in setting standards of behavior for employees and expecting adherence to those standards.

Marilyn R. Marks



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