Sending off Aspen’s ‘bubbly’ airport people-person
From foreign visitors inquiring about dinner reservations to young snowboarders fresh off the plane seeking directions to the nearest hostel, Dorothy Frommer said no question is off the table in her role as Aspen-Pitkin County Airport director of guest services.
And if Frommer doesn’t have an answer right away, she’ll find one, and she’ll do so with a smile.
Because that’s the kind of person she is, said Frommer’s co-workers and friends.
“She’s always bubbly, vivacious, and she’s wonderful at her job,” said George Johnson, one of Frommer’s 12 employees at the airport customer service desk. “She’s the best boss I’ve ever had.”
After 40 years of helping people and pleasing customers, today marks Frommer’s last day of work.
While she is retiring from the workforce, Frommer plans to spend much of her newfound free time volunteering at local organizations, like the Aspen Valley Hospital, where she’s volunteered in the past.
Frommer has lived and worked in Aspen for most of her life with the exception of two brief moves.
“I left Aspen twice, not for a long time, and I always came back,” she said. “I missed the whole environment; the feeling, the weather, the history.
“There’s so much going on in such a tiny town.”
After studying fashion in New York, Frommer relocated to Aspen in 1975 and spent most of her career in retail, with the past 10 years at the airport.
Whether serving people at the Chanel boutique (where Frommer worked before the airport) or the baggage claim, Frommer excelled in her career by exhibiting superior customer service.
“She’s very careful about what she does in that it’s the absolute highest level of customer service possible,” Johnson said.
That isn’t always easy at an airport — and in Aspen, no less — with weather complications, lost bags, cancellations and delays, as Frommer’s colleagues pointed out.
“She’s very effective at handling tough situations,” said Aspen airport Director John Kinney. “She’s dealt with some really difficult people, and she always keeps her poise and charm.”
A self-proclaimed people-person, Frommer said she loves her job and is proud of the airport’s customer service program.
“It’s a very special service,” she said. “And just a welcoming feeling in the airport.”
The information desk, which is one of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association’s four visitor centers, also is an excellent resource for international visitors, said Frommer’s friend, Joelle Mcdonough.
“There are people from all over the world coming through the airport,” she said. “And if they have a problem, Dorothy will solve it.”
Frommer is patient, passionate and will be deeply missed at the airport, Kinney said.
“She’s left a big signature on this place,” he said. “For years to come.”
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Stage 1 fire restrictions in Pitkin County start Wednesday, which means no campfires in undeveloped sites, no fireworks and no smoking outside unless it’s in an area cleared of all combustible materials.