Business Monday: Tomcich has no reservations about career change

Bill Tomcich, speaking at an Aspen Chamber Resort Association meeting, recently departed the Stay Aspen Snowmass central reservations agency, but he will remain involved locally as an airport consultant.
Aspen Times file

When it comes to local knowledge about Aspen air service and lodge bookings, few would be pressed to find someone with more data at their disposal than Bill Tomcich.

Tomcich has been the president and face of Aspen tourism for two decades, first with Aspen Central Reservations until it merged into the newly formed Stay Aspen Snowmass in the fall of 2001.

Oct. 31, however, marked his last day with SAS. On Nov. 1, SAS went under the full ownership and control of Aspen Skiing Co.

Even so, Tomcich said last week he plans to remain involved in local air travel and will be part of Pitkin County’s ongoing discussions and community outreach about the airport expansion.

Tomcich has been a consultant to the advisory group Fly Aspen Snowmass, a partnership among Aspen Skiing Co, Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, Aspen Chamber of Commerce and Snowmass Tourism. The group focuses on maintaining relationships with commercial carriers and seeking ways to bring more airline seats into Aspen.

“That will continue just as it always has,” he said. “The fact that I’m removed from Stay Aspen Snowmass will free me up.”

It has been no secret that Tomcich’s time at SAS was winding down. Tomcich had worked as the firm’s president for the past two years as an independent contractor after the SAS board of directors decided in September 2016 to relocate its call-center operations to the Skico-owned Riverside Plaza offices in Basalt.

That move dovetailed with Skico’s plan to take full ownership and control of Stay Aspen Snowmass, whose shareholders once included not only Skico but accommodations in both Aspen and Snowmass.

With SAS now part of Skico, Lise Adams will remain the director of SAS.

“The transition has been a tremendous success in large part due to the amazing cooperation between the lodging community and ASC,” Kristi Kavanaugh, vice president of sales at Skico, said in a statement last week. “SAS is set to succeed in the future and remain an integral part of our guests’ experience year-round to the Roaring Fork Valley.”

Tomcich said he also is providing consulting work to other airports and communities. He said he currently has clients in California and Vermont.