Senior Editor

Aspen CEO Mike Kaplan has taken a stand. Photo: Aspen Skiing Co.

The Inertia


Can anyone get this guy to shut the hell up? Because that would be great. Maybe one of his trusted advisors could steal his phone? He’s the President of the United States and doesn’t seem to know what the First Amendment is. Which we were reminded of, again, this weekend after the entire NFL basically flipped him the bird for his insensitive comments regarding national anthem protests.

Let me explain it to you in simple terms, Mr. President: when an entire people feel that an injustice has been levied against them, they’re allowed to protest. That’s called ‘free speech,’ something that, you know, this country was founded on. But I digress. Or completely effed up this lead.

The President doesn’t just have a problem with constitutional rights. It seems he isn’t getting the whole human rights thing either, as Aspen Skiing Co.’s Mike Kaplan deftly pointed out in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal last week. In the piece, Kaplan blamed Aspen’s 30 percent loss in affluent Mexican tourism to “xenophobia radiating from the Oval Office.”


From DACA to building a wall to the travel ban, the President has painted himself into a corner on immigration, again, something America was built on, so if you’re siding with this guy, remember, somewhere not so deep in the family woodpile, you’re probably not from here either. And this “xenophobic” rhetoric is starting to show its wear: The New York Times last week highlighted a Department of Commerce study that showed a significant drop in international tourism to the U.S. in the first three months of 2017. The country saw nearly 700,000 fewer foreign visitors than the year before. And it’s not just people from Mexico. Europe showed a 10.1 percent drop while Mexican visitation dropped by 7.1 percent.

“If President Trump is as concerned with the U.S. trade deficit as he says,” wrote Kaplan, “he should recognize that tourism to the U.S. is a type of export to other countries. Foreign visitors come here and spend their money. The U.S. destinations they visit cannot be ‘off-shored’ or moved to Mexico.”

Kaplan told the Aspen Times he submitted the piece because “We thought appealing to Trump on business grounds might resonate with him and the administration….we expect that more foreign visitors will take their business to destinations outside the U.S. if our country continues to send unwelcoming signals to the world.”

Hopefully, that message is well received. It seems unlikely, though.

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