Saturday, October 5, 2013

Shout Out II

Another shout out.  This one goes to the Aspen Skiing Company, and it's legit.  In light of the closure of the road to the Maroon Bells this past week, the Skico announced that gondola rides to the top of Aspen mountain this weekend would be free.  F.  R.  E.  E.  They said they wanted to provide people who come here with a way to view the amazing foliage.  Ulterior motives notwithstanding, I have to give them props, they in no way had to do this.  Here are some of my thoughts and facts on the matter:
  • The gondola is only open weekends anyways right now (in the Fall) weather permitting.
  •  It was cold all day today, but cloudless.
  • The normal cost for an adult in the summer is $28 and kids 4-12 are $11.  So for a family of two adults and two kids that's, um, carry the 3 and divide by 17, $78 smackers just for a ride up and down the mountain.  There are some activities to do at the top like Frisbee golf and some ropes and swings for the kids, but today those wouldn't have been available as there was snow on the ground.  There is also a cafeteria style restaurant up there.
  • As you can see in the pic below, there was literally a line to get on the gondola.  There were tons of people around the base as well in town in general.  I'm sure the top was flat out a zoo.  Lots of them were families with small kids. 
  • Last Sat. at the exact same time, with almost the exact same weather, I was in town loitering around and was essentially alone.  It was a ghost town.
  • My guess is most of these people were actually from downvalley, as opposed to the Front Range.  They wouldn't normally come up here on a weekend to hang out.  
  • Essentially getting a $78 dollar value for free is way more enticing than something like getting your second pizza for half price.
  • I'd say the Skico will increase the gondola ridership by 10 to possibly 20 TIMES what they would have without the big fat zero for the price.  It'll be interesting to see the figures on Monday.
  • The Skico isn't actually 'losing' as much money on this deal as you would first think.  They actually might not be losing any at all.  Remember, the gondola would be running this weekend anyway.  They'll miss out on say 40 or 50 paying customers, but will likely more than make up for that from photos and food at the top.  And the good memories and press they'll garner is a future investment for sure.
  • This deal doubtless helped out other business in town as well as our little Sat. farmers market.  Like I said, there were just way more people here than is normal for off-season. 
A line for the gondola eh?

The fountains in front of the Wheeler Opera house

The colors with light snow make for amazing viewing

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