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Mountain News: Aspen advertising air connections



ASPEN, Colo. – Last winter was something less than stellar for the Aspen Skiing Co. A major problem had to do with air transportation, beginning with the Christmas blizzard that bottlenecked traffic at Denver and continuing through the winter.

With that in mind, the company — which operates four ski areas in the Aspen area — is pushing its airport connections this year in advertising materials. It boasts of having the America’s only slopeside airport, just five minutes from downtown Aspen.

But the company is also going to keep pushing its climate-change agenda. Last year, it took out alarms that warned of warming that will eventually melt the world’s winter playgrounds. David Perry, the senior vice president, conceded that the advertisements taken in several prominent magazines were a bit alarmist.

But it got people’s attention, and the ski company plans to press on again this year, using high-profile Aspen athletes Chris Davenport, a skier, and Gretchen Bleiler, a snowboarder. Television commercial and print advertising will focus on the company’s environmental efforts during the last 10 years.

In addition, the company this fall is sending 42,000 energy-efficient light bulbs to loyal guests.


Costs climb for art project

VAIL, Colo. – There’s residual heart-burn in Vail about a public art project in one of the town’s most prominent locations, Siebert Circle, located near the base of the busiest ski lift, the Vista Bahn.

There, in 1999, the town authorized a somewhat abstract work of art designed by noted Texas sculptor Jesus Moroles. The sculpture and associated landscaping, which cost $700,000, never warmed the hearts of many people. So, in 2005 the town council voted to appropriate $675,000 for a fire-water fountain, assuming $125,000 came in from the private sector.

But from $800,000 the project cost has now ballooned to $1.7 million, reports the Vail Daily. In a dissent of the latest supplemental appropriation, council member Kim Newbury called the project a “debacle” and “embarrassing.”

For those who like the water display of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, this water feature is being created by the same company, WET Design.


Franchise stores may be regulated

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. – Steamboat Springs is now looking at regulations designed to prevent the proliferation of franchised chain retailers such as Starbucks, The Gap and other such stores.

At issue is the town’s original business district, several miles from the ski mountain. It’s a slice of small-town Americana, if now considerably gussied up. Going on 20 years, the town has been determined to retain that distinctive character even as it modernizes.