Discount or free senior ski passes generate family-related ski days |

Discount or free senior ski passes generate family-related ski days

Letter writer Kenneth Chernoff is badly mistaken in his March 30 letter if he believes the seniors of Summit County demand discounts as a matter of privilege for living here.

I, and I suspect, most Summit seniors, regard the discounts extended by the ski resorts, Safeway, City Market and other business establishments not as an entitlement of age, but rather as a gift, a show of respect, if you like, bestowed by the younger generation on its elders.

This may well be an unduly romantic and outdated view, given the bitterness exemplified by Mr. Chernoff and the annual efforts by the ski resorts to whittle down this senior largesse.

To be sure, these discounts do not serve the givers’ narrow self-interest, not at all. In hard marketing terms, they may be money-losers – especially since seniors seem to be living longer and skiing more.

It can be argued, however, that wider interests of business and community are served by attracting a large and reliable resident clientele, plus their visiting children, grandchildren, friends and families – all of whom are there for the ski resorts and attendant facilities in good times and bad.

The economics of the gesture is not my point, however. If these ski discounts are to become a matter of contention, resented by people who do not (yet) fit the “senior” label and increasingly begrudged by ski resorts for the immediate income sacrificed, then they have lost their true meaning.

They will no longer foster the spirit of community which many of us find a unique hallmark of Summit County.

Will the extra dollars and cents charged seniors and/or limiting the days they can use their ski passes (already decreed by Copper Mountain for next season) be worth the divisiveness and loss of respect surely resulting? This senior thinks not – but hardly for reasons of economics or loss of alleged privilege for the oldsters.

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