Kudos & Kindness (April 18, 2021)

A toast to Aspen’s workforce

My face stretched into a wide smile while reading every single name of the Aspen Ski Co. employees who’ve worked for the company from 20 to 50 plus years in the recent two-page spread in the newspaper.

Think about it. These are people who’ve transformed their ski bum dreams into a lifelong career! They’ve secured housing by hook or by crook and found odd jobs to sustain themselves through the offseasons. They’ve mowed our lawns, built our homes, served us food and drink and have always come back year after year. Through epic powder and dismal drought, and even a global pandemic we have relied on them to dish out the best skiing in the world.

Of course not all lifelong Skico employees can be grouped into the ski bum category. Some are Ivy League-trained business people who were lucky enough to land a “real” job in a “real” ski town and they stayed to raise their families here and share their vision with us. Thank you.

Some of the people on the 30- to 50-year list have been riding their bikes to work from Smuggler Trailer Park, rain or shine, sleet or snow all these years. They’ve gotten the wheels turning on the lifts, they’ve controlled avalanches, and they still get just as giddy about 4 inches of new snow or a foot. These are the folks who can “look under the hood” and troubleshoot problems. They’ve been there long enough to have seen it all.

They are master snow movers, half-pipe designers, and snow makers. They are lift operators, and mechanics. They are instructors who have spent their lives seeking the perfect turn and who share their secrets with the rest of us.

In fact some of the old-timers on the list have taught many of us how to ski. It’s not like local kids just strapped on a pair of boards and pointed them downhill. We learned how to ski from many of the wizened members of the Aspen ski school.

Heck, some of us have even had the privilege of being removed from the mountain in a toboggan for one mishap or another through the years.

Their names are all on the most recent list of longtime Skico employees and on lists that are by now tucked away in the archives of the Aspen Historical Society. As I enter my 58th year in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, I’m thankful so many of them are still around.

Pat Bingham

Pitkin County


Aspen stores support public education

Thank you to these wonderful local store owners for coming together to support our schools. Last month, a night of shopping, cocktails and fun raised close to $4,000 for Aspen Education Foundation! In such a stressful time, thank you for coming out with enthusiasm and energy:

• Patricia (Patsy) Richards from Bandana

• Kimberly Wilson from Kali’s

• Drita Bardha-Rosin from KOR

• Natalie Festa from The Art of the Cozy

• Laurie O’Connell from Perch

• Mia Valley from Valley Fine Art

• Kristin Yeary and Kelly Wyly O’Donovan from Elliott Yeary Gallery

• Kate Maller from Kate Maller Jewelry

Public education is the backbone of our country and our small community. Access to providing free quality education is the first step in creating equality of opportunity.

Michelle Stiller and Marla Butler

Board members, Aspen Education Foundation


Thank you, Aspen Skiing Co.

The past year has been a challenge for so many in countless ways. Through it all, the Aspen Skiing Co. has worked hard to provide opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy our mountains.

This recreation has been an essential respite from the stress of Covid restrictions. From the beginning of the shut down in March, 2020, ASC continued to groom the mountains for uphill, even without receipt of revenue. They created a plan to ensure our mountains would stay open through the ski season of 2020-21. I am especially appreciative of the new “weekday” ski pass, which is affordable to locals and reduces the numbers on the mountains on the weekends.

After 30 years in the valley, I was able to truly enjoy our mountains! I hope this pass offering will continue! The fresh air and ability to safely socialize with friends was a blessing! Thank you, Aspen Skiing Co., for balancing the needs of locals and visitors so well.

Bonnie Kowar

Woody Creek


Thank you for rescuing my rescue dog

I want to thank the good Samaritans who helped get my dog back the other day after she ran off from The Local. I don’t know your names but please accept my deep gratitude.

Meadow is a rescue dog who is very skittish. I think she got really scared when I went in to get my tea. One of you ran after her and the other somehow got her into his truck. And, she was “bumped” by a car and is OK.

Meanwhile, several people outside at The Local did nothing even as the dog was dragging the table! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Anne Collins


Letter to the Editor