Betsy Ludlow: Shoddy treatment by the Ski Corp.
It began with an incident in the lift line at Pony Express on Jan. 5.
Our good friend and Mountain Master volunteer Jim Webster was skiing alone on his day off. The lift had closed down and a long line had formed.
Jim asked the snowboarder to his left if he was alone and could he ride up with him. The snowboarder said “yes,” he was with two other friends in front of them — but asked if he (the snowboarder) could ride on the outside.
He and Jim juggled themselves into position and then moved forward to join the other two friends. The events that followed are a little mind-boggling.
The two friends complained loudly that Jim had barged into their space. They ranted and raved, used expletives and told Jim to get into the singles line.
One of the snowboarders asked for Jim’s name, which he willingly provided, and then proceeded to send a letter to the Ski Corp.
On the very same day, Jim was called in to the office of Jeff Daniels, head of guest services. Based on the letter sent by the snowboarder, Jim was dismissed from the Mountain Masters group, and his season pass was confiscated.
Jim’s version of the events was not considered. Jim is a six-year member of the Mountain Masters (previously Over the Hill Gang) with an unblemished record.
Jim wrote a letter to the editor to the Steamboat Pilot, which was published in the Sunday, Jan. 8 edition, expressing general concern over rude behavior in the lift lines. He did not mention anything specific about what happened to him on Jan. 5.
A person behind Jim in the line on Jan. 5 witnessed the entire episode. He reached out to Jim to express his incredulity over what transpired. He confirmed Jim’s account — that the snowboarders were completely out of line.
A letter campaign followed. Jim’s many supporters sent letters to the Ski Corp. management team asking them to reconsider their unjust actions. A routine form letter came back from them saying that it was a private matter and Ski Corp. decision was final.
A small group of supporters then asked to meet with Ski Corp. CEO Rob Perlman to discuss the matter. This request (sent three times now) has gone unanswered.
How can this be? A well-liked professional volunteer gets sacked on the basis of one absurd and erroneous letter, and the appeals of local residents, including two witnesses, are ignored?
Ski Corp.’s judgment, decision-making skills and regard for treating customers and volunteers with respect have reached an all-time low. Apparently, they are above it all and have never heard of the concept “do the right thing.”
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Steamboat Springs part-time resident David Dennis is approaching the third-year mark from when his right leg was amputated below the knee.