Editor's note: This story originally ran as part of the Aspen Daily News' 2019 April Fools edition. It is purely satirical and all references to real life people and businesses are fabricated.
Following up on their successful “powder pancakes” campaign, Aspen Skiing Incorporated has announced that they will be giving away “powder puppies” during the 2019-20 season.
“We were trying to figure out what people love more than free pancakes, and then one of the avalanche dogs walked by and the whole PR team had the same idea at once,” said Geoff Henley, chief of public relations for Ski Inc. “We realized that giving away free dogs is the perfect way to get as many people on the mountain as possible when there’s fresh powder.”
Free pancakes were given away at on-mountain restaurants on days where overnight snow accumulations were more than 8”. For the puppies, snow will have to total 60” over a week, but Henley said that considering how much snow the 2018-19 season had, that shouldn’t be a problem.
The dogs will be aged two to six months and will come from a mixture of pet shops, shelters and random dogs found wandering at the Woody Creek trailer park.Icon Pass holders get first choice of powder puppies, which Henley said is just another incentive to get more out-of-towners on the mountains. Ski Inc. season pass holders get selection after that and those with a 7-day Vintage Pass get whatever mutts are leftover.
“I was worried when I found out that Icon Pass holders would get all the cute Bernese Mountain Dogs and huskies,” said Marcus Shredpow, who often skis over 100 days each season and plans to adopt as many dogs as possible. “But as long as I don’t get a mangy mixed breed like the Vintage Pass folks do, I’m pretty stoked.”
The dogs will be handed out at the Snowmass Village Mall, The Sundeck on Aspen Mountain, Merry-Go-Round on Highlands and the Cliffhouse at Buttermilk. For the on-mountain locations, adopters will have the option to rent special backpacks from Ski Inc. and ski down with their puppies, or just ride the lift down with their new best friend to the envy of all other riders. Henley said that the decision to not give away the puppies on the mountain at Snowmass was due to “The average skill level of Snowmass skiers.”
The powder puppies are sure to be a draw on the mountains next year, and despite previous years’ snowfall and the fake news of climate change, there is no way Aspen won’t be getting enough powder to guarantee a puppy for every Icon Pass holder who wants one.
“From a marketing standpoint this whole thing is genius,” said Henley, who added that he’ll likely bring a puppy home to his family. “Everybody F$%king loves dogs, man.”