Aspen Skiing Co.’s new passes are to the detriment of locals
Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of Aspen Skiing Co.
Dear Mr. Kaplan,
I am a longtime local and over 25-year seasons pass holder. I have always felt that Skico policies were fair. I never had any conflict with them. Until this year. The economic effects of COVID-19 have devastated the incomes of many valley residents, myself included.
To say I was shocked by the unprecedented increase in pass prices is a gross understatement. Dumb me, I thought they were going to lower them to help valley residents. It has always been Skico policy to allow an unused pass to be returned until April. Last year it was February and now Nov. 13. This means if I buy a pass and find that by opening day I cannot afford to ski or need the pass money to live on, I am out of luck.
Maybe myself and others will deem it unhealthy to ski due to COVID-19. Even the airlines, which are especially known for customer unfriendly practices, will give you a refund if you feel flying is unsafe. Sure, you are offering a weekday pass. How does that help all of us who work Monday through Friday?
It is my theory — and only my theory — that this is all done to discourage local season passes. But then why not let cash-strapped locals return their pass? In advertising the weekday pass and its option to purchase a day ticket and half price, it is indicated that the day pass may cost as much as $229 — a record price. I can only conclude that this is done so that the 1% economic bracket can ski. They do not care about the cost! This is done at a cost to locals.
I strongly encourage you to amend your return policies especially in light of looming lock downs and worsening infections.
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