Ben Tiffany

Ben Tiffany 1 day, 19 hours ago on Steamboat City Council gets an earful about recent cuts to winter bus service

A good post,Barry. In Telluride,and probably other ski towns,a ski pass is included in the pay package for bus drivers. It seems to work well there;sure would make sense here as well. It's about time the city took this problem seriously and solved it.

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Ben Tiffany 3 days, 22 hours ago on Steamboat City Council approves 1st reading of stricter trash rules to prevent wildlife conflicts

City Council's action is an idiotic attempt at fixing the problem. The fact is,most of the customers of the trash removal companies do not have problems with bears. Somehow,they find a way to keep the bears out. The council has decided that because some people cannot take care of their trash/bear issue,everyone should be made to pay. To burden a large number of customers with a fee of up to $350 to buy a trash container that they DON'T NEED is unconscionable. The obvious solution has always been to penalize those that create the problem,and anyone cited for allowing bears to spread their trash should be required to buy or retrofit their trash container. Granted,this would require the police to make a few determinations about whose trash has been spread about,but generally that shouldn't be hard to do. The whole issue needs further thought.

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Ben Tiffany 1 week, 1 day ago on Era of the Super Pass: Vail's 'transformative' purchase of Park City issues a challenge for destination ski resorts like Steamboat

Well Mark,I'm glad that you didn't lump me into the "riffraff" category that you clearly disdain (at least I think you didn't),but I think your guess as to how and how much a ski area decides to charge for such things as ski passes,ski school lessons,food,etc. might have missed a few considerations. First of all,I did not ever mean to imply that a successful business could avoid passing on its costs to its customers,but in many cases a business might not pass on those full costs. It might absorb some of those costs (while still charging its normal rate) in order to retain market share,or perhaps to at least appear to be "a good neighbor". For example,if the ski corp charges $100 a day to ski and their normal costs are $80,they make a $20 profit on each ticket sold. If their costs were to go up to $85 and they keep their lift ticket price at $100,they still make a profit,but not as much as they could have. You could throw in all sorts of other economic thought,such as less people will buy a ticket if it goes up to $110,and the end result is that the ski corp could make more overall profit by absorbing added costs up to a certain point.( I don't claim to be an economist,so all of this is just conjecture.) My point is that pricing is not an exact science,and the ski corp is just taking their best guess (an educated guess,to be sure) about what they can charge for things without running into too much consumer resistance. If the ski corp charges too much for a season pass,then they might lose a critical core market that they depend on for funds during the months when they do not make a profit at all (say April-November.) You may not think much of some of the skiers and riders that use the mountain here in Steamboat (or other resorts),but like it or not,they are part of the market and without them it is doubtful that these resorts could provide attractive prices to those "respectable" people that you prefer.

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Ben Tiffany 1 week, 2 days ago on Era of the Super Pass: Vail's 'transformative' purchase of Park City issues a challenge for destination ski resorts like Steamboat

Mark, I fully understand that businesses generally place profit and shareholders above other concerns,and to neglect those things threatens a business's survival. I do think however that any business that takes these actions to extremes will prove to be shortsighted. If you do not show a certain loyalty to your customers and employees,you will find yourself with a lot less customers and with a shortage of quality employees as well.I would bet that most of the most successful businesses in the U.S. do not think that this is "nonsense." These companies may indeed pass these costs onto their customers,but not necessarily,or at least not immediately.You are right that such behavior from a business cannot and should not be expected,but the better managed businesses have a pretty good idea of how far they can maximize profits and shareholder value before they encounter a serious backlash that will affect both these things.

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Ben Tiffany 1 week, 3 days ago on Era of the Super Pass: Vail's 'transformative' purchase of Park City issues a challenge for destination ski resorts like Steamboat

Some ski areas actually attempt to give value as well as retain it. But you're right,Mark;some don't seem to care about much beyond shareholder/owner profit. Scott is definitely correct about the Vail Resorts business plan;many of the ski passes they sell get used very little. (Some perhaps never get used at all,amazingly enough.) I agree with both Kieran and Jeff's preference for a ski resort and town that is not on an interstate corridor,which is why Steamboat has always suited me well.

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Ben Tiffany 1 week, 4 days ago on Steamboat Springs City Council to discuss police station design and building location next week

I think the location near the Hampton Inn seems like a better choice,if they really feel like they have to build a new police station. It is nearer to downtown,more convenient to the bus line for quick citizen access,and less likely to cause even more traffic issues than a site along Pine Grove Road would cause. I agree with Scott that it would be a good thing for the city to provide us with a more detailed explanation of what this station would look like.

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