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Bitches and cocaine

BRECKENRIDGE – Niki Harris didn’t like Breckenridge being referred to as a bitch in a variety of magazine ads last month. But she said she’d prefer that over an ad she found Monday on the ski resort’s Web site that she said alludes to drug use.

Breckenridge Ski Resort Chief Operations Officer Roger McCarthy said the ads “don’t say cocaine to me,” and officials planned to pull them Monday afternoon.

But that didn’t happen before Web surfers read the text at breckenridge.snow.com/



mtn.asp.

“I’m absolutely horrified,” said Harris, a Breckenridge innkeeper. “We know there are drugs everywhere, but do we have to advertise the fact? The implication is horrendous. This is a Web site available to everybody – we refer people to it. Is Vail Resorts peddling something we don’t know about?”



Breckenridge grabbed international headlines after its parent company, Vail Resorts, ran a series of ads in niche publications saying that, “The hill may dominate you. But the town will still be your bitch,” and “Each night, a chance to earn your balls back.”

The lingo in the ads is heard often among the younger, hip set, and ad executives and ski resort officials said the ad was designed to tout the town’s nightlife. But it offended many with its insinuation that people can come to Breckenridge, trash the town and party all night long.

The Breckenridge Ski Resort Internet ad begins, “At Breckenridge, everyone has a stash. And if you’re lucky, you might just get someone to reveal their favorite line to you.” It ends with, “What they crave is the Breckenridge fix. They crave their own snowy stash.”

“Snowy stash, ooooh,” Harris said. “I can see where it’s coming from, but we can do better than that.”

The Web site refers to snowy stashes, favorite lines, fixes and cravings, all double-entendres for cocaine use. It was designed by Resort Technology Partners, an Internet company in which Vail Resorts has a 50 percent stake. Web designers of the Avon-based firm didn’t return phone calls Monday.

The site also has information about activities, lodging, lift ticket prices, employment opportunities and snow conditions in the High Country, making it popular among those making vacation and employment decisions.

“I think the whole “Brecken-bitch’ thing is better than what’s on the Web site,” said 23-year-old Amanda Spring of Breckenridge. “At least I can see the humor in that. But this sounds directly like drugs. I don’t think any town should be known for drug use. People here shouldn’t be proud of it.”

Harris, who has a 10-year-old daughter, said she’s surprised ski area officials opted to use the text on the Web site, especially since she knows McCarthy has a young son.

“This is a Web site open to everyone,” she said. “I’m appalled that they think this is what we want to advertise. Is this the best Breckenridge has to offer? I think I’d rather have bitches.”

McCarthy said he has bigger issues to worry about than text in Web site ads.

“We’re pulling it,” he said. “I guess we’ve got to produce some pablum to keep everyone happy.”

Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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