A dollar isn’t what it used to be for Aspen Skiing Co.
ASPEN – Let’s be franc – the weak dollar isn’t what it used to be, as the Aspen Skiing Co. is learning.
The Skico will have to dig deeper into its pocketbook when it comes time to pay cash awards to World Cup racers later this month at the Winternational on Aspen Mountain. The Skico is required by the International Ski Federation rules to pay the top 10 finishers a total of 100,000 Swiss francs in each of the two races. The women’s races are scheduled for Nov. 28-29.
The U.S. dollar has plummeted recently against most major currencies, so John Rigney, Skico vice president of sales and events, figures it will cost at least 20 percent more to provide the cash prizes this year compared to last year.
On the bright side, the weak dollar makes trips to U.S. resorts like Aspen more enticing for overseas travelers.
The exchange rate Tuesday was 98 cents for 1 Swiss franc. Unless something drastic happens in the next 10 days, the Skico will have to shell out about $98,437.70 per race, or a total of $196,845.40, to the top finishers in the slalom and giant slalom.
The Skico felt the sting of the falling dollar two years ago as well. It paid about $15,000 more than planned when the U.S. dollar plummeted to what then seemed like an unfavorable 88.5 cents per franc. The rate was a little more in favor of the Skico last season.
The winners of the races will get an added bonus starting this season. The Skico will plant a tree on Aspen Mountain in honor of the winners. The plan is to build a tradition that leads to a new tree grove on the mountain, Rigney said.
For a full Winternational schedule, go to http://www.aspensnowmass.com/ and click on the link for events and activities.