Ear to the


“The most important thing is you get there early enough to see the mayor botch the honorary keg tapping.”

-An insider answering the question, “What time should I show up at Oktoberfest?”

The white stuff

Ski slopes are still mostly white and masculine, and they’re also getting older. The National Ski Areas Association has released a study on skier demographics, and not that much has changed. That’s both good and bad for ski areas.

The good news is that baby boomers continue to ski. The average age last season was 36.6 years, compared to 33.2 years a decade ago. Customers aged 55 and older also doubled over the last decade, while those aged 45 to 54 – the younger baby boomers – increased by 5.5 percent. Some 61 percent of skiers are male, and all customers tend toward greater affluence than the general population. An overwhelming majority of skiers, 86 to 89 percent, are white.

The bad news is that ski areas will have to transition to a younger more diverse customer base. To some extent, that is already happening, according to the report. The trouble is that younger generations don’t have the disposable income that the destination ski resorts are predicated upon.

Nonetheless, Michael Berry, president of the ski areas association, told The Aspen Times that the industry is in good shape. But Michael Perry, senior vice president for marketing at the Aspen Skiing Co., said he is concerned about the whiteness of the sport.

Durango on the

West Coast

“Durango” has landed in L.A. The drama by playwright Julia Cho has played Broadway and the East Coast and premiered in California this week. The play tells the story of a recently laid-off Korean-American, Mr. Lee, who packs his two sons in the car to escape to Durango. As they make their way across the Arizona desert, they confront family secrets, peeling back the layers of identity, alienation and duty that define being Asian in America.

In a story this week, theL.A. Timeswrote, “The trio embarks for Durango, Colo., a mountainous mecca for Mr. Lee signifying all the beauty and deep feeling he has lost sight of while struggling to get ahead in this land of fabled opportunity.”

The three eventually make it to Durango city limits, but their dream of riding the train to Silverton is stymied when the D&SNGRR is all sold out.