Guiding Principles

In this 17th edition, our Guiding Principles have been stripped down to their core. But they provide more direction and transparency than ever. They encompass what we do, why we come to work every day, why we choose to live here and how we’ll be successful. I ask you to own these values; to take responsibility for bringing them to life. Our dedication to the Aspen Idea of the complete life, and these core principles of humanity, excellence, sustainability and passion, is what makes us unique. It’s what gives employees power and autonomy in their work, and what makes Aspen Snowmass such a rewarding place to be.


Mike Kaplan



We renew the spirit by sustaining the “Aspen Idea,” a complete life nurturing mind, body and spirit. We value:

Humanity: We treat people the way they’d like to be treated, modeling authenticity, transparency, courtesy, respect and humility.

Excellence: in business, quality, craftsmanship, guest service and athletic achievement.

Sustainability: of people, profits, the environment and the community so that we are in business forever.

Passion: We live our core values and embrace life-long learning and meaningful work.

As employees we are committed to the following Principles:

    Be fair and understanding; treat everyone with courtesy and respect
    Communicate honestly, openly and often
    Share a passion for excellence
    Engage as responsible citizens of our community
    Ensure our financial success

Aspen Skiing Company is values-driven, owned and operated by people who share a common appreciation and respect for the pristine environment in which we live.

Guiding Principles in Action:

Practice values-based leadership with authenticity and transparency.
ASC restaurants switched to antibiotic and hormone free local beef despite added cost that was not passed on to guests. Created new 360 degree feedback program for all salaried employees – starting with senior staff - and implemented a mentoring program to help employee development.

Promote physical and emotional wellness.
Each year, ASC uses its money, time and influence to build a stronger community. Last year we donated $2 million to support child care, health care, education, the environment and athletics. We fought reductions in school funding; spent another 1000 hours volunteering on trails, playgrounds and housing; and continued to provide one of the best health plans in the valley.

Deliver exemplary hospitality and superior guest service.
Completed installation of convenient radio frequency lift access across four mountains. Installed “direct to lift” technology that allows passholders to bypass  ticket offices; implemented a resort-charge program that lets guests use their ticket or pass to bill lessons, food, or equipment directly to their credit card. Acquisition of the Limelight hotel added mid-range luxury to our lodging portfolio.

Be stewards of and advocates for the environment.
ASC allocated more than $1M towards large scale energy saving measures like new boilers at The Little Nell and several other lodges; improved snowmaking efficiency through advanced pumps and guns; and continued to implement industry-leading policies like a new ban on incandescent light bulbs. We made public comments on oil shale development and backed local clean energy projects like Castle Creek hydro. Harvard Business School developed a classroom case study based on our work.

Ensure our financial success.
We built on a successful extended season at Highlands, generating not just revenue but good will, national press coverage, and community spirit. In a time of energy price spikes and volatility, ASC hedged fuel purchases through 2013 and continued aggressive efficiency programs that cut ASC energy use approximately 5% in fiscal 2010.

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