Special sections serve up generous helpings of Aspen
November 14, 2002
It is that time of year when many newspapers run special ski sections. Aspen is usually mentioned.
The Sydney Sun Herald on Nov. 11 announced that, “You don’t have to be rich to share the white powder with the celebs,” to which it is almost impossible not to respond, “but it helps.”
Scott Ellis of the Sun Herald writes that, “Whenever the world’s elite ski resorts are discussed, one name invariably pops up, Aspen.”
Calling Aspen a “skier’s paradise,” he also reports there is a “stretch Humvee available for those who want a limo no matter how deep the snow is.”
And as often happens with the “affordable Aspen” angle, the writer first describes the excesses and then offers up cheap alternatives such as the Boomerang Lodge.
He also quoted two instructors standing around being smartasses:
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“‘Loads of new faces this year,’ observes another wryly, ‘on the same old bodies.’
“‘All the gear and no idea,’ his friend agrees.”
The writer must have been on Ajax.
Causing us some head scratching, the writer also pointed us to an eatery we’ve never heard of: “On the snow, the Base Cafe has the usual selection of (affordable) pizzas, burgers and chips, plus salads and soups,” Ellis wrote.
Never heard of the Base Cafe, have you? Maybe he means the Freebase Cafe where you can “share the white powder with the celebs.”
Doing the N.Y. Times
Each fall, ski area PR folks battle for coverage in the Sunday New York Times travel section about skiing.
On Nov. 10, Aspen was featured in the “What’s Doing In …” section with an article by Susan Benner.
“Early snow ? 17 inches in the last three days of October ? and mildly optimistic predictions for more have Aspen’s winter population hoping that the drought is over and the mountains will be whiter this year.”
After mentioning the G Zones in the Highland Bowl and the X Games, Benner sums up the place:
“Though the snow may be unpredictable, the relatively uncrowded slopes, extraordinary natural beauty and sunshine are almost guaranteed, along with high prices and the usual sprinkling of royalty, titans, film stars and ski bums, on skis or not.”
Ah, I love a good sprinkling of royalty, don’t you?
$80 lift tickets?
There was some travel banter about Aspen on CNBC’s Early Today show on Nov. 8.
Anchor Nanette Hansen was interviewing Matthew Link, the associate editor of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, and she asked him about deals in Colorado. Links tells her about a good deal in Steamboat, which leads to this exchange:
HANSEN: Mm-hmm. And that’s Steamboat Springs. I’ve ? I’ve heard lift tickets, you know, in Aspen, for instance, can be as high as …
LINK: Aspen …
HANSEN: … What? ? as ? between $60 and $80. People who are watching who ski know. I don’t go there, so I don’t ? I don’t know. But ? so I guess if you’re looking at $119 per person per night at ? at one of these places and it includes your lift tickets, it’s not so bad.
LINK: No. It’s an awesome deal. I mean, if you look at Aspen, it’s probably one of the most expensive places to ski in the entire world. And ? there you can stay at the St. Regis Club, which is this incredible upscale property. And they’re offering almost $500 off of their normal rates. So it’s, like, $289. That gets you lift tickets, breakfast. I mean, it’s an awesome property for that price.
HANSEN: Stregisaspen.com. I would love to see that some time …
Maybe she could before lift tickets reach $80.
Turning Aspen into Aspen
The Los Angeles Times ran some ski stories on Nov. 10 as well. When Catharine Hamm noted that there are two new condo projects at Mammoth, she put it this way:
“The 77-unit Lincoln House and the 89-unit White Mountain Lodge are part of a nearly billion-dollar upgrade by giant Intrawest Corp. designed to turn Mammoth into the next Aspen, with new retail shops, bars and restaurants at the base of a new 15-passenger gondola.”
Does this mean if Snowmass gets a new Intrawest village it too will be the next Aspen?