Website takes aim at Aspen Skiing Co.’s walk-up lift-ticket rate
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado
ASPEN – A website that advertises on Facebook is taking aim at Aspen Skiing Co.’s daily walk-up rate of $117, questioning the price in a comparison with other prominent North American winter resorts that offer cheaper lift tickets.
The operator, whose phone number corresponds with an Aspen address, said he was not a Skico employee.
“I’m not Lee Mulcahy, I can tell you that,” he added, a reference to the former Skico employee and longtime critic of the local company.
The site, http://www.aspenskicosucks.com, also incorrectly criticizes Skico for what it describes as the company’s refusal to publish its single-day lift-ticket prices. Following an email query, the website operator, who would not provide a valid name, called the Times to explain the reasons behind his initiative, which began in late November at the start of ski season.
Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle said he doesn’t understand exactly what’s driving the recently created website. He said one of the man’s stated reasons doesn’t wash: Skico does post its one-day window rate on the “Tickets” section of its website, http://www.aspensnowmass.com, and has throughout the season.
It’s not posted on the home page, though.
“I don’t know what this guy, whoever it is, wants,” Hanle said. “All you have to do is go to our website and go to the (‘Purchase in advance and save’) link, and it comes up.”
After being notified that Skico does in fact publish its walk-up lift ticket rate, the operator emailed the following message to The Times: “Ha. I can claim victory now.”
Regardless of what’s on the Skico site, the other website makes a big point of the publishing issue.
“Ostensibly the reason SkiCo refuses to publish their single-day lift ticket price is that the window rate is ‘based on the ski conditions’ and will change too often for them to keep up,” the aspenskicosucks.com website reads. “Do we believe that? No. It takes almost no effort to change a published number…
“Another silly excuse they use is that ‘No one should be paying the full-price window rate because we offer great advance purchase discount rates.’ That only makes sense if they sold a discounted advance purchase single day ticket, which they don’t,” the site continues. “Do we care that they are gouging? Not in the least. We just care that they sleazily make it very hard to find out what it costs to access our public lands and come up with absurd reasons to justify it.”
Although the website is named “aspenskicosucks.com,” text on its home page appears to carry a disclaimer of sorts. “Aside from this one issue they mostly don’t suck. It could be worse – they could be Vail.”
Hanle said company officials have been aware of the disparaging site – which he called a “lonely, desperate endeavor” – and aren’t taking it seriously.
He said he has no idea who the culprit is.
“We’ve seen it; we don’t really know who’s behind it, and we don’t really care,” Hanle said.
He pointed out that anybody can set up a website anonymously to air a gripe, whether the criticism is valid or not.
“They are having no impact on us,” he said. “They are wasting their time and money, and they can do that if they choose to. We offer the best skiing on the planet at a great price, and we really don’t care about that person.”
Hanle suggested that running a newspaper story about the website only encourages “more crackpots.”
“His claims about our not publishing a daily lift rate are nonsense,” he said.
Hanle noted that anyone who wants to know the price of a walk-up daily lift ticket also can call 970-925-1220 and ask for a sales agent. The price on Friday was $117, the same rate that has been charged for the past few weeks.
The website operator claimed that aside from the one-day price and the publishing issue, he doesn’t have any other major issues with Skico. He said the cost of running the website is insignificant.
“I’m hoping that with enough exposure about this, they’ll make some changes,” he said.
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