Skico letting its hair down |

Skico letting its hair down

Aspen Skiing Co. executives may be letting their hair down when it comes to the company’s personal grooming policy.

Company officials confirmed yesterday that all full-time and many seasonal employees are being notified this week of changes to policies and benefits. Skico Vice President of Human Resources Jim Laing said he wouldn’t discuss specifics of the changes “until we know we’ve had a chance to communicate to our employees directly.”

However, a source familiar with the grooming changes said men will be allowed to wear their hair longer during the 2000-01 season.

The Skico adopted a personal grooming policy before the 1995-96 ski season because company executives claimed customers were complaining about the appearance of some employees.

Initially the Skico demanded that hair be “cut above the top of an ordinary shirt collar.” Beards and goatees were banned.

The company eased up less than two months later after male employees complained and other residents ridiculed the changes. One popular T-shirt of the day showed images of Jesus Christ and Hitler and asked which one would qualify to work for the Skico. (Hint: It wasn’t Jesus.)

The policy was modified to say men’s hair had to be cut “above the shoulders.” It also allowed short, neatly trimmed beards and goatees, as long as they were started before the ski season.

An Aspen Times survey of ski resorts last season found the Skico’s grooming policy to be among the most strict. Many resorts didn’t restrict men’s hair length, but merely said it must be neat and secured in a ponytail if below the shoulders.

Vail Resorts – which operates Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone – has a policy which states, “For men, hair may extend in the back past the bottom of a typical dress shirt collar ONLY if it is neatly pulled back and secured in a ponytail. Hair length can’t extend past the top of the shoulder blades.”

It couldn’t be determined yesterday what length the Skico will now allow. Laing would only confirm that changes were being made to policies and benefits. He wouldn’t confirm that changes were coming for the grooming policy.

The Skico will also reportedly ease up on restrictions on earrings, said a source. The current policy states that no more than two earrings can be worn.

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