Last spring, in an effort to reduce confusion among snowboarders about where they can and can't ride, Aspen Mountain, the only mountain out of the Aspen Skiing Company's four that bans snowboarding, adopted its old locals' nickname, Ajax. Meanwhile, the owner of Snowbasin, Utah, who also happens to own Sun Valley, Idaho, suggested he might change Snowbasin's name to Sun Valley, Utah. Got it? Allow us to clarify.
Old Name: Aspen Mountain
New Name: Ajax
What's the Point?: A service to snowboarders who can't tell the difference between "Aspen Mountain" and "Aspen Valley."
Hidden Evil Sales Ploy: A flagrant attempt to cash in on theenormous brand power of popular household cleaner, Ajax.
Potential Downside: Unexpectedly fierce competition from Comet, Soft Scrub, and Mr. Clean.
Our Take: Great. Company literature will finally catch up with the local lingo.
Prediction for 2002: Ajax caves in, opens to snowboarding anyway, gets renamed Aspen Mountain.
Old Name: Snowbasin
New Name: Sun Valley
What's the Point?: Just as two Pizza Huts have more marketing punch than one, so, theoretically, do two Sun Valleys.
Hidden Evil Sales Ploy: Olympic downhill venue's name will be mentioned 6.8 gillion times on TV; both Sun Valleys get exposure.
Potential Downside: Grad students looking for Hemingway house mistakenly arriving in Utah, getting stuck with weak cuba libres.
Our Take: Moronic. Any of you guys remember New Coke?
Prediction for 2002: Ketchum, Idaho, findsitself an impromptu Olympic Village forconfused Belarussian downhillers.