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Aspen locals could be in for a season-pass curve ball this winter

Aspen Skiing Co. is considering blackout-dates for local skiers so it can manage the crowds.
Skiing in Aspen.

ASPEN, Colo. — Aspen Skiing Co. plans to open its four mountains on schedule this winter under a controlled environment with outdoor bathrooms and no sit-down dining, and it also is considering blackout-dates for local skiers so it can manage the crowds.

Skico senior executive Rich Burkley brought up the touchy subject of blackout dates — at least among the local ski and snowboard crowd — on Thursday during a video conference meeting with local health care authorities and public officials.

“We are looking at spreading pulses throughout the day, throughout the weeks, and throughout the season,” said Burkley, the company’s senior vice president of strategic planning. “So we may be asking locals to ski a lot more in early December than in the holiday season, when we may have other capacity-constraint limitations in place, as well.”

Skico, like the Aspen School District, Aspen Valley Hospital, local businesses and local government, is grappling with how to efficiently operate during a global pandemic while limiting the spread of the virus.

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