Scott Condon
The Aspen Times
Vail, CO Colorado

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January 4, 2012
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Aspen, Vail stay positive despite snow conditions

ASPEN - Aspen Skiing Co. has launched a social media campaign to try to convince customers that snow conditions at its four ski areas aren't all that bad. Meanwhile, snowmaking efforts will resume on Aspen Mountain later than usual to cover some thin spots.

Skico President and CEO Mike Kaplan started writing a blog Monday called "The Glass is Half Full." Kaplan didn't write a regular blog previously, but company officials felt it would be effective to inform skiers and riders about the best trail conditions from his perspective, according to Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle.

"It's in response to snow conditions," Hanle said.

Kaplan will post his thoughts periodically on Tumblr, a popular website and microblogging platform. His first blog, written on Monday, was reposted to Skico's website, and the company drew attention to it via Twitter.

True to the title of the blog, Kaplan put a positive spin on snow conditions.

"What a weekend, big winds radically changed the snowpack," he started. "That said, the beauty of skiing and riding is that the mountain changes every day and it is really fun to adapt to whatever it is serving up that day."

Kaplan then offered advice on where to find "fetches" or the areas where snow blew into. He concluded by noting that there will be plenty of snow this week and softening conditions, "so enjoy it and keep looking for new lines and stick to the sides of the trails, it's softer and more consistent."

The target audience of the blog is "anyone and everyone," Hanle said.

Skico isn't relying solely on Kaplan's blog to try to win hearts and minds. On its Facebook page, Skico is posting photos that paint its ski areas in the best possible light.

Vail Mountain is also posting positive responses to comments on its Facebook page about snow conditions, while also admitting conditions are less than good.

"While it is very true that Vail (along with most of North America) is experiencing challenging snow conditions this year, we are lucky to have a mountain that, in spite of the weather, has 1500+ acres, 21 lifts and 112 trails open and thousands of hardworking employees including snowmakers and groomers working all night long that stand by the skiing experience despite the unusual weather this year," Vail Mountain wrote in response to comments on its Facebook page.

Vail Mountain said in another comment that "there's really no sugarcoating a rough snow year," in response to a picture someone posted from a sun-facing aspect with almost no snow coverage.

"If you are looking to see the conditions on north and eastern facing front side of Vail, our mountain cams are the ticket," Vail Mountain wrote. "Unfortunately, Vail, nor any North American resort can control the weather, so all we can really do is stay positive and wait patiently."

Hanle said he didn't have definitive statistics about Skico's holiday or season-to-date business, but there were no signs the lack of natural snow has sunk the numbers. Business in Vail also seemed to be booming over the holiday season.


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The VailDaily Updated Jan 4, 2012 11:43PM Published Jan 4, 2012 11:41PM Copyright 2012 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.