This SkiCo proposal to expand into Pandora’s smells a lot like manure to me. CEO Mike Kaplan and the SkiCo claim they need this expansion because it’s “critical for us to stay relevant.”
Aspen is constantly regarded as a top ski resort in every skiing publication. Aspen is not in danger of becoming irrelevant. One way we could stay relevant would be to concentrate on bringing back World Cup skiing to our world-class town, something that would actually benefit more businesses than just SkiCo. SkiCo claims skiers are seeking “faster service” and “improved circulation” on Ajax. Improvements to the Gents Ridge lift (the Couch) and Lift 1A would do wonders for those concerns. Sure, SkiCo loves the environment, but how is it the best idea to destroy a natural habitat and expand an uncrowded ski area? This is unnecessary. Commissioner Poschman has it right, SkiCo could save millions, stay relevant and increase safety by expanding the resort without a lift and allowing our world-class patrol to monitor the area.
This is a land grab. They already control 1,500 acres on the backside (Wine Tree, Little Annie’s, McFarlane’s) for their posh private Powder Tours. SkiCo wants locals to just trust them. I saw the 45-minute lift lines last season on Deep Temerity and wonder. SkiCo’s goal is to “stay in business forever.” Kaplan said it himself. It’s a business move.