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March 24, 2014
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Vail Daily letter: High on hypocrisy

The Vail Daily has embraced the marijuana debate with gusto assessing the pros and cons of Colorado’s response to legalization.

Blaise Carrig, president of Vail Resorts’ Mountain Division, elevates his company’s hypocrisy to new heights stating that “the safety of our guests and our employees is our highest priority, and we therefore take a zero tolerance approach to skiing or riding under the influence.” He goes on to state that they do not permit the consumption of marijuana “on any lifts, facilities or premises that we control.”

However, influence includes a host of intoxicants, including alcohol, which Vail Resorts not only condones but actively markets throughout the ski area. I often take my morning coffee break at the 10th (great spot), which is served in the bar which is open and does a thriving business as early at 10 a.m. Obviously they have no objection promoting alcohol intoxication and the substantial revenue it generates. When you have a drink at the bar, or wine with your lunch, then proceed to the slopes you are skiing or riding under the influence. True, the alcohol must be consumed within their premises, but the intoxication in your system follows you out the door

It is also true that many patrons bring their own supply which is consumed (usually in the trees) almost anywhere on the mountain. How do I know this? For many years I participated in the mountain cleanup in late June and carted many trash bags full of empty beer cans and bottles (could never understand why someone would haul a beer bottle on the mountain since the container weighs more than the contents, so cans are a better option). Obviously bringing your own booze on the mountain is illegal, but I have never seen any Vail Resorts employee inspecting backpacks at the base lifts in an effort to police this activity. Ski closing day and you will see VR’s blind eyes especially when corks are popping at Belle’s Camp or other favorite party sites.

So I applaud Blaise’s comments in keeping Vail Resorts’ army of lawyers happy, but admit your hypocrisy. When I get hit by a skier or rider under the influence, suffer an injury, and get a free ride down to the emergency room courtesy of the Ski Patrol, does it really matter whether the intoxication was the result of alcohol, marijuana, speed, cocaine, over the counter pain killers, etc. (too many to list)?

Alan Parnass


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The VailDaily Updated Mar 25, 2014 10:45AM Published Mar 24, 2014 05:24PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.