Skico scores spot on ‘Best Places to Work’ |

Skico scores spot on ‘Best Places to Work’

Scott Condon
Aspen Correspondent
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Aspen Skiing Co. remains a good place to work despite the hardships created by the recession, according to its employees.

The Skico scored a spot on Outside Magazine’s 2010 “Best Places to Work” list, ranking 29th out of 50 businesses. The Skico placed eighth among large employers in Outside’s initial listing in 2008. The magazine’s been tweaking the way it ranks companies. It scrapped the categories last year and went with the top 30. This year it’s going for the top 50. The Skico didn’t qualify last year because not enough employees submitted surveys.

Skico President and CEO Mike Kaplan said earning a place in Outside’s list is as important as any accolade to him because it reflects satisfaction among the company’s workers.

“One hundred percent of survey respondents said they would recommend working at Aspen Skiing Co. to friends or family,” Kaplan said, noting a survey result he was particularly pleased about.

Skico workers faced a tougher time than usual this winter. The administrative, “non-front line positions” were “leaner than ever,” he said. Positions were reduced through attrition. Plus, all departments, including those on the front lines, were challenged to make due with less. “They rose to the occasion,” Kaplan said.

On the other hand, there was increased pressure to satisfy customers who were more value-conscious than ever this season because of the recession, he said.

Outside undertakes a year-long process that starts with outreach to identify potential contenders with at least 15 employees working in the United States. Workers at participating companies are sent confidential employee-satisfaction surveys, while the employer fills out a questionnaire about benefits, compensation, policies, environmental initiatives and community outreach efforts.

The results were analyzed by Best Companies Group, which selected the top 50 employers.

“These 50 companies come from a vast array of industries, but they’re all following the same enlightened path,” said Michael Roberts, executive editor of Outside Magazine. “They’re successful businesses in a challenging economy precisely because they support a proper work-life balance.”

Outside’s full list and a story on the best places to work will be published in the May issue, available April 20. Specific qualities that placed Skico on the list weren’t available from Outside on Wednesday, nor were other winners.

In 2008, the Skico made the list with lofty company. Heavyweights like Google, REI and Patagonia were among other top places to work in the large employer category.

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