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Mountain News: Aspen marketing green-ness



ASPEN, Colo. – In its winter marketing program, the Aspen Skiing Co. is tooting the horn even more loudly this year about the dangers of global warming. Advertisements warning of the dangers were placed last winter in two magazines, Ski and Outside. This year, similar “save snow” ads are planned in six ski and outdoor magazines, plus newspapers. In addition, the company is sending compact fluorescent bulbs to 40,000 of its most loyal customers.

The Aspen Times reported that while the ski company may have the zeal of a reformist on this issue, it also makes good business sense. An annual survey of the company’s customers two winters ago showed that 36 per cent were more likely to return because of the company’s environmental practices, and last winter that number rose to 39 per cent.

The implication is simple, says The Times: If the company is recognized for its green stance, it could lure prospective customers as well as satisfy many of the existing ones.

In Vail, there was a bit of skepticism about Aspen Skiing’s marketing initiative. The resort experience is nothing if not carbon intensive, noted the Vail Daily in an editorial, so if Aspen’s advertisements succeed in drawing more customers, they will be counter-productive to the stated mission of saving snow.


Revelstoke anxious; prices rise

REVELSTOKE, B.C. – The anxiety of change continues in Revelstoke, where the big, new ski area is to open at Christmas.

Even before the ski area plans were completed, Revelstoke had begun to attract urban refugees. Now, rents are rising rapidly, anywhere from 50 to 100 per cent, according to the laments at a special meeting called Renter’s Voice. “There’s a lot of pain, a lot of anxiety, and quite a bit of anger” in the community, said Brian Summer, a social worker who organized the meeting.

“If we turn this town into a Whistler or Canmore, I don’t think I’ll be able to live here,” said Tom Dickson.

David F. Rooney, editor of the Revelstoke Times Review, observes a “kind of social Darwinism — think of it as survival of the richest — at work here.” He adds: “And if we’re not very, very careful, the town and community we love so much will be gone forever… replaced by people for whom this is just a nice place to spend a few months of the year.”

Writing from Salt Lake City, George Ott warns Revelstoke that it may become like Park City. His experience there, circa 1979, was of a place with “no traffic lights, and when the ski season ended the town rolled up the sidewalks and went elsewhere for 6 or 7 months of the year. Life was good, the snow was deep, and rent was cheap. Hindsight being what it is, the only thing I would change is I would have bought more property earlier.”