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Skiers in Aspen pay premium prices, expect premium product

Sloppy math? Snow job? Something seems off where “Skico’s Kaplan urges Aspen to embrace Ikon Pass holders, quit blaming them for lift lines” (Sept. 5, aspentimes.com).

Using the March 3 example of the 40-minute line — 800 people on the Deep Temerity lift, 129 are extrapolated as Ikon Pass holders (16%). This is followed by the assertion that this only added four minutes to the lift line (this optimistic math suggests only 10% of queued skiers were Ikoners).

This seems at odds with previous reporting that “40% of the skier visits over the weekends were Ikon Pass holders” and that “they are younger and more accomplished skiers, which is why they flock to Highlands for steeper terrain” (“Aspen Skiing Co. to adjust for Ikon crowds in ’19-20 season,” Aug. 19, aspentimes.com). If true, this suggests that Ikon Pass holders made up at least 40% of those in the Deep Temerity line that day — they surely weren’t at Panda Peak.

In this day of radio-frequency-identification lift tickets/passes, computers and big data, Skico must know the exact blend of skiers that or any other day and one shouldn’t cherry pick. Is Skico claiming that actual data shows only 16% of Highlands skiers March 3 were Ikoners or is perhaps that 16% figure an average number across the season and/or mountains?

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Kaplan implores us to not be snobbish. Fine, but is that really the issue? We pay a premium price expecting a premium product. It’s not a question of who, but rather how many.

Don’t get me wrong. Skico does a great job overall and Aspen-area skiing is terrific. Let’s try to keep it that way.

Trey Kinkead

Aspen


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