President of Aspen Ski Co. Invited to White House to Discuss Climate and Energy Bill

Mike Kaplan, President and CEO, Aspen Skiing Company Joins Fellow CEOs at White House to Lend Support for Climate and Energy Bill

Aspen, CO., June 24, 2009 – Mike Kaplan, president and CEO, Aspen Skiing Company, is among a group of business leaders who have been invited to the White House to push the business case for strong climate and clean energy legislation before a key House vote Friday on the Waxman/Markey bill.
The executives will meet with Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change. The goal of the meeting is for the White House to discuss business efforts to advocate for comprehensive climate legislation, and to explore how we can work together to continue to broaden that support as a climate and energy bill moves through Congress.

“We are honored to be included in this group and we appreciate the Administrations leadership on this issue,” says Mike Kaplan, president and CEO Aspen Skiing Company. “Climate change is the most significant long term threat to the ski industry and we have already begun to see the impacts of global warming on our mountain environment. In the Roaring Fork Valley alone thousands of people’s jobs depend directly upon winter sports. We urge Congress to take significant action now to control future emissions and to ensure we save snow and the economic viability of mountain resorts like Aspen for current and future generations.”
Aspen Skiing Company is among a group of businesses that signed onto print ads published in the Wall street Journal and key DC newspapers this week urging Congress and President Obama to lead and swiftly enact comprehensive legislation to ensure America’s prosperous and competitive future.
The Waxman/Markey bill or American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES)
H.R. 2454, implements the a cap and trade mechanism to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; promotes job growth by supporting development of clean tech jobs; implements renewable energy and energy efficiency standards ; and provides support for consumers and industries in transition to a clean energy economy.

Kaplan will also take the opportunity to meet with key staff from Representative John Salazar’s office to voice ASC’s support for the bill.

Aspen Skiing Company operates the four mountains in the Aspen/Snowmass area – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk – as well as the award-winning Ski & Snowboard Schools of Aspen/Snowmass. The area offers unparalleled nightlife and off-slope activities as well. Aspen/Snowmass is accessible by two of the most convenient airports in the mountains – Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) (3 miles from Aspen) and Eagle County Airport (EGE) (70 miles from Aspen). For more information on Aspen Skiing Company, please call 800-525-6200 or 970-925-1220, or visit the company’s website at www.aspensnowmass.com <http://www.aspensnowmass.com/> .

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.mulcahy Lee Mulcahy

    Here’s a little history about Mike Kaplan’s role @ the helm of the Aspen Skiing Company [Skico]:

    Skico recently banned a song firing the singer who wrote it and censoring the newspaper that covered it from all its Aspen properties, including National Forest. It’s from Aspen Skollie from Feb 5th:

    This is the story about a small town folk singer and his “anthem for local working people.” It’s about corporate bullying, irony and karma. It’s the story of “Big Money.”.

    Dan Sheridan, a 20-plus year Aspen local, released an album in 2003 that included a song called “Big Money.” While the song has been popular among some locals, Sheridan has never gained much notoriety past the Aspen corridor of Highway 82. That is until recently. On January 1, 2010, Sheridan played a gig at Sneaky’s Tavern in the new and incomplete Snowmass Base Vi
    llage. [Yesterday’s front page story was: Skico accused of fraudulent actions in Base Village condo sales. It was written by local author Brent Gardner-Smith.] A group in the small crowd requested “Big Money” and Sheridan obliged them by playing the song. Sheridan said he had noticed “dudes in full-length fur coats and cowboy boots” but that he “got the feeling that everyone wanted to hear it.”.

    While no one ever heard from the man-fur sporting tourists, there was apparently one person in the crowd who did not want to hear it. An Aspen Skiing Company Vice President complained to the Director of Food and Beverage, and on the following Monday Sheridan was fried. By that Wednesday the Aspen Times published a story detailing the events, and Jeff Hanle, the Skico’s spokesman, was quoted as saying, “An artist can express himself how he wants. But that doesn’t mean we have to provide him the stage.” Suddenly everybody was talking about “Big Money.”.

    The newspaper was flooded with letters to the Editor with such headlines as “Censorship by Skico,” “Downright Pathetic,” and “Boycott Skico,” and by Thursday the Aspen Skiing Company was calling Sheridan to say that he could come back and play any song except for “Big Money.” Aspen Daily News printed the story “Skico welcomes Sheridan back without “Big Money””. Hanle called the incident a “PR debacle” and said that he hoped Skico could put the incident behind them and move on.

    Unfortunately for Skico, that was just the beginning. More letters poured into both Aspen newspapers,… and even Pitkin County Commissioner Jack Hatfield dissed the Skico for all to see on Grassroots TV. The original story became the most read article on the Aspen Times website, and it was picked up by Denver’s Westword.

    Skico moved on and decided to ride the holiday wave by promoting Aspen Snowmass in major cities like Chicago, San Francisco, and L.A. The company took its first billboard ads since 1958 with the headline “It’s Time to Fly” featuring hometown sweetheart Gretchen Bleiler. However, the story would not die.

    While the Skico was posting billboards along the 405 in L.A., the L.A. Times was printing an article titled “Folk song strikes a touchy chord in Aspen”, which can now be found on their website under Home/Collections/Wealthy People. Instead of giving Sheridan a quiet warning and letting a couple of urban cowboys take offense at a small show, Skico officials alienated Aspen locals and undermined their own major advertising campaign. Corporate karma can be a real bi#ch.

    The story finally reached Gawker: “Take heart, hippie communist folk singer Dan Sheridan… you are quite correct. Big money ruins everything. And that’s going to suck for the rich, if they ever leave their cocaine-and-expensive-hooker-strewn Jacuzzis.”.

    The good news is that Dan Sheridan is now a folk hero, and everyone wants to hear “Big Money.” Still, is an apology authentic if it only comes after you have been called out? Would Sheridan still have a job if the Aspen Times had never printed that story? No one at Skico has yet to take responsibility for the firing of Dan Sheridan. There is no transparency and no accountability, and perhaps that is why this story continues to play.

    You have to wonder what is going on at Aspen Skiing Company. In a new story Curtis Wackerle for the Aspen Daily News ask why Skico has stopped delivery of the newspaper to its hotel properties. Hanle is quoted as saying that the amount of newsprint on display at the properties “was just overwhelming” and that it had nothing to do with the Daily News running the story “Skico’s green efforts didn’t include Residences at The Little Nell.”.

    “An artist can express himself how he wants. But that doesn’t mean we have to provide him the stage” sounds a lot like “A newspaper can say what it wants, but that doesn’t mean we have to provide it the circulation” or advertise with it. It’s not so much a bullet to the Daily News as it is a sucker punch. Skico fail.

    -Skollie Life

    * Note Skico does now do a minute amount of advertising in the Daily News to appease local critics.

  • Lee Mulcahy PhD

    It gets funnier: I had nothing to do with the article below but I did write a letter to the editor about firing artists and banning newspapers wasn’t cool. The “DO AS I SAY” CEO Mike Kaplan wrote me afterwards to check with my supervisor about my job status. Really? Cuz’ it’s freedom of speech, no? Well, ROFL, this is what their attorney firm in Denver stated two months BEFORE they fired me:

    http://www.aspentimes.com/article/20100511/LETTER/100519967?show=comments

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