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ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado ski resort company announced job cuts for the first time in nearly 20 years as it anticipates decreased business because of the pandemic.

Aspen Skiing Co. told employees that 50 positions would be eliminated at its properties, which include the Snowmass and Aspen Mountain resorts, The Aspen Times reported Friday.

Vice President of Communications Jeff Hanle said the affected positions are across the company. He did not provide specific information on the jobs eliminated.

President and CEO Mike Kaplan told employees in an email that many of the positions are already vacant or will lead to early retirements, but nine people were laid off.

“I am hopeful that there will be no further layoffs, as these actions have been taken after careful consideration of our outlook,” Kaplan wrote.

The company needs to “stay flexible given the ever shifting COVID landscape,” Kaplan wrote.

Aspen Skiing Co. typically employs more than 3,000 full-time and seasonal employees at the height of winter.

The company anticipates decreased business this winter based on advance booking figures. Kaplan said the company needs to spend more on operations to ensure safety during the pandemic despite bringing in less revenue because of fewer guests.

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