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Letters to the Editor

Never complain! Never explain!

Adam Aron is no doubt at this moment the most reviled man in the Vail Valley! This is no mean feat in a community that prides itself on being pleasant and mellow.

Aron is pretty good at his job. The boys back east don’t pay the kind of money he gets for poor performance. True, a number of the actions he’s taken to return to profitability have been less than popular, but VR is an economic entity after all, not a social club.

No, Mr. Aron’s problems stem from the fact that he is, with the possible exception of Mark Hurlbert, the most public relations- challenged individual within 100 miles.

You’d think that Aron – with his $1 million annual salary, his $8 million bonus and a budget of several hundred million dollars – would have the common sense to hire a reasonably competent PR adviser. Or, if he has one, to listen to him-her. (I was going to send him my own resume until I remembered I’d used my last copy for kindling 10 years ago.)

Perhaps Mr. Aron might be wise to remember Henry Ford II’s personal advice to top dogs: “Never complain! Never explain!” It might serve him well to contemplate that before he makes a fool of himself by writing another thoughtless letter to the Daily.

When VR employees are lucky to get one doctor when they have cancer, he’s complaining about the pain of a “bone spur” and the treatment he’s receiving from five doctors? (Five doctors for a bone spur?) Here he merely points out that he’s not subject to the same health benefits that he’s cut for hundreds of his employees. Not smart.

You’d think a guy in his position, with his visibility, would either get a driver or a wheelchair ride before he’d publicly scoff the law by using a handicapped spot at the local airport. And then, he makes a point to tell us that he paid his fine, leaving open the question: Why is that either remarkable or laudable? One might think paying a fine for a misdemeanor was below him. And really, was he alone at the time? Nobody to drop him off and park the car? Come on!

This is a guy who clearly doesn’t understand the sport that is the basis of his current prosperity. Everybody else knows that the first rule of skiing is: “No whining!” (Well, there may be some dispute about the first rule being “don’t eat the yellow snow,” but that doesn’t serve here.)

People in a defensive mode often say and do stupid things. Witness Bill Jensen in defending Vail’s highest ticket price in the country! Instead of citing VR’s investments and noting the discounts available, etc., he revels in the exorbitant one-day ticket price and crows that we’re the best in the country so we should have the highest price. Beyond sounding amazingly pre-pubescent, he came across as arrogant as hell. Arrogant isn’t what VR or his boss need right now. There’s too much apparent arrogance emanating from VR as it is.

There is a reason that Marketing 101 teaches us that pricing, above all, must be rational. If you can’t explain your pricing in 10 words or less, and do it rationally, then you’re probably just “charging what the market will bear.” After all, will he lower ticket prices if SKI magazine lowers Vail’s rating? Dumb!

These kinds of foolish public statements register with people even if they can’t articulate why.

I don’t know Aron or Jensen, but I do know a number of VR employees and there is a huge disconnect between the executive branch and the employee corps at VR. No manager can believe that is the sign of a healthy organization. And VR’s relations with the community? Duh? These guys seem to working at that as if it were a corporate goal.

They could have set up a small fund to help those employees most hurt by the necessary cuts (particularly in health care where people occasionally die), but they didn’t. The top dogs could have kicked in some miniscule amounts of personal funds to visibly help their neighbors, but they didn’t.

Is it so hard, among the thousands of VR employees, to find someone who understands the common sense of community relations?

Or is it that they simply don’t give a damn? Right now, that’s what it looks like. Come on, guys. Admirable management means more than just numbers.

Jim Dorsey

Avon

Good vibes

Thank God! Somebody replaced Bob’s House of Music. This new store has guitars, amps, drum sets, etc., at a price us local valley people can afford. We welcome you, Good Vibrations Studios in Eagle – a pleasant addition to this valley.

Jimmy Beherns

Eagle

Great resource

I just wanted to say thanks for providing the Vail Daily online. I’m currently living in Southern California and am planning a permanent relocation to the Vail Valley within the next couple of months.

As a registered nurse, I’m applying to Vail Valley Medical Center. I find that your newspaper is providing me with an abundance of information and links about the Vail lifestyle. I’m looking forward to making my first visit soon.

In 1997, I moved to South Lake Tahoe after only one brief visit. I wasn’t able to find as comprehensive a resource about the area prior to my move. My gamble, however, yielded a year and a half of fine Sierra living. I returned to L.A. to go to nursing school.

The Vail Daily, Warren Miller, SKI magazine and the Travel Channel have all rated Vail as the No. 1 ski resort in the world. Thanks to all of you, and HR at VVMC, my confidence in my decision to move is growing exponentially. I’m reading the Vail Daily … daily.

Thank you, again, and happy new year!

Elliot Jaffe


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