SkiCo CEO Says Some Capital Improvement Projects Will Go Forward As Scheduled Despite Outbreak

In an interview with The Aspen Times, Aspen Skiing Co. President and CEO Mike Kaplan stated that the company plans to move forward with multiple capital improvement projects despite the revenue loss incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak and closures.

The three projects that were specifically confirmed are a replacement of the Big Burn chairlift at Snowmass costing close to $11 million, a 43-unit affordable housing complex project at Willits Town Center in Basalt costing close to $19 million, and a roof replacement for the Sundeck at Aspen Mountain costing $1.8 million. The pricing figures are according to SkiCo's VP of Communications, Jeff Hanle.

At the time of the interview, Kaplan was asked about the possibility of refunds for pass holders due to the shortened season, a common question across the industry. While he did say that refunds are not likely, he did say the company is looking for ways to work with pass holders on the shortened season.

"Refunds are not likely, as season passes are not sold on a per-use basis. However, we are looking at what we can do to recognize the season was shortened and offer value to pass purchasers. We also want to wait and see what happens the rest of spring and remain committed to reopening if state and local officials lift their orders and are comfortable doing so. That seems to be less and less likely, but we are maintaining our optionality for Highlands just in case things change. This entire shutdown and set of state and county orders are unprecedented and fast-moving. It’s hard to remember, but it’s still only April 1!" - President & CEO Mike Kaplan/The Aspen Times Interview

This news shows only one side of the coin when it comes to the financial decisions having to be made by ski corporations and independent mountains due to the abrupt shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The other side came when earlier this week Vail Resorts Inc. announced that the company would scrap capital improvement projects as part of a plan to cope with the financial losses incurred from the outbreak.

Photo: Aerial Photo Of Aspen Snowmass - Credit: AspenSkiingCompany / CC BY-SA


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