Front Range Riff-Raff v. Elitist Cow

Nothing makes fur fly in the great state of Colorado like a robust debate over skiing. Personally, I’ve never understood the attraction. I can easily think dozens, perhaps hundreds, of ways to sustain frostbite, torn ligaments and broken bones at a small fraction of the cost of a weekend at one of Colorado’s many hoity toity ski resorts. No matter, though, since skiing is wildly popular here and constitutes a substantial chunk of our state’s economic might.

Last week Colorado Confidential interviewed Kaye Ferry, Executive Director of the Vail Chamber and Business Association, about the “Epic Pass” being offered by Vail Resorts. The resort company’s pass, which costs $579, apparently allows unrestricted access to all six of the company’s resorts.

Ms. Ferry opposes the Epic Pass. She’s quoted in the interview as saying:

“Throughout the history of (Vail) we have appealed to exclusivity. The only people we let up there during Christmas are the ones with the big homes and their ski instructors. We had eliminated the Front Range riff-raff, and all of a sudden we’re selling a pass that’s to the masses.”

“Front Range riff-raff” cuts a pretty wide swath, referring to pretty much everyone who lives in or just east of the Rocky Mountain foothills, myself included!

Needless to say, Ms. Ferry’s comments have touched off quite the little shitstorm. For her part, Ms. Ferry has vacillated among denying the “riff-raff” statement outright, saying the comment was taken out of context and claiming that she was speaking off the record.

I have no trouble believing she said it. The statement was, after all, a very Vail Patrician sort of thing to say. Reading it was still quite shocking, though, so much so that it caused the monocle to fall from its perch astride my left eye and the nonvolitional jerking movement of my head left my silk top hat sitting all askew. Most unseemly.

Update: Faced with mounting criticism, including from members of the the Vail Town Council, Ms. Ferry resigned today.

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