SAM Magazine—Aspen, Colo., June 10, 2020—The leaders of two of the biggest players in the mountain resort industry have responded to the worldwide movement to end racial inequality and injustice.
Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz published an open letter titled ,“We Are Part of the Problem,” and Aspen Skiing Company CEO Mike Kaplan and Skico owners Paula and Jim Crown co-wrote an open letter titled, “We Commit.” Both letters express that the companies stand with the African-American community and support efforts to fight for social justice. They also acknowledge that skiing as a whole lacks diversity and is typically a sport for the wealthy.
In a rare moment of public solidarity between the two longtime competitors, when Aspen Snowmass shared the letter from Kaplan and the Crowns on Twitter, Vail Resorts retweeted it, commenting: “To make our sport more diverse, we will need everyone to be a part of the conversation. This isn’t going to be easy, nor will there be a quick solution, but it’s time to take on the challenge. Thank you for your engagement @aspensnowmass.”
Days after Katz’s letter was published, Vail Resorts announced that Katz was to donate all $11.7 million of his realized stock appreciate rights to charity, including major contributions to the Equal Justice Initiative, Know Your Rights Camp, and youth organizations that support youth of color in urban centers across North America.
Skico is taking action through advocacy, education, and addressing the issues of unconscious bias and racism within its company by expanding staff training, providing resources, and diversifying its workforce through active recruiting efforts.