Skico responds to letter | AspenTimes.com

Skico responds to letter

I must respond to the letter written yesterday by Mr. Klutznick. It contains false statements and inaccuracies that demean Aspen Skiing Co. employees and some of our guests.

Mr. Klutznick’s claim of “diffidence” on the part of the Aspen Skiing Co. is unfounded. In the past two weeks alone, we have regularly shared information and safety education with local and regional media concerning the recent string of tragic incidents. This has resulted in 17 separate newspaper articles to date.

Six-year-old Leonie Arguetty had an opportunity to wear a helmet. Describing our mountains as a “sanctioned environment controlled by an instructor” is a preposterous statement that demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of what our sport is about. This is not Disneyland.

The “60-year-old” gentleman boarding the gondola did not report any chest pains until three minutes into his ride up the mountain, according to fellow passengers who contacted the patrol via cell phone. That put his cabin approximately 3,000 feet from the bottom.

The Aspen Mountain Patrol coached the eyewitnesses via cell phone on how to administer CPR. Lift operations accelerated the gondola to maximum speed bringing the patient to the top as quickly as possible, since gondolas do not run backwards.

Skico paramedics with state-of-the-art life support systems were waiting at the top to stabilize the gentleman who was suffering an aortic aneurysm. The patient was sent down the gondola in an ambulance cabin, accompanied by the paramedics, and was then transported to AVH.

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The patient left the mountain in critical, but stable, condition thanks to the valiant efforts of the passengers in the gondola cabin and the Aspen Mountain Patrol. Unfortunately, he died during an emergency flight to Denver, and not on his way to AVH, as Mr. Klutznick stated.

Finally, Mr. Klutznick’s claim of “arrogance” on the part of our company is particularly offensive. These accidents have been emotionally devastating for all of us at the Aspen Skiing Co.

Pat O’Donnell, President/CEO

Aspen Skiing Co

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