Ever since there’s been a “ski season,” a “mud season” has followed.
But the term “mud season” has long grated on the sensibilities of those whose job it is to promote Our Fair Valley to the outside world. Unless you’re among the small portion of the population who enjoys that sort of thing, “mud season” doesn’t conjure a pretty picture of our picturesque place.
So our marketeers have put forth terms including “value season” to describe the fallow time between the lifts closing and the glory of summer.
But those of us in the journalism business are supposed to describe things as they are. As such, “mud season” works nicely — at least on the days when it’s warm enough to get a good melt on the mountains’ snowpack.
Much as we like the idea of transforming the Vail Valley into a 12-month economy — and we do, really — there are certain realities to face this time of year, most having to do with fickle ol’ Mom Nature. This week is a prime example.
If you came here this week for fun — our ultimate product — you’re going to be fairly limited in what the valley has to offer. Like to ski? Here’s a set of skins or snowshoes to hike up the hill. Knock yourself out.
Fancy a bike ride? There isn’t much mud on the trails near Eagle right now, but bundle up, buckaroo. By the way, the Boneyard is an easy half-hour drive down the valley.
How about a fine meal? We still have several excellent restaurants open, and the deals can be phenomenal, but your choices will be a bit limited compared to winter or summer.
You’ll also able to find a luxurious room at a very attractive rate, but this week you’re likely to want an indoor pool or check out the spa.
Let’s face it: Mother Nature can be on the mood-swingy side this time of year.
This is a great time for our hotels to host corporate meetings and the like. The rates are attractive, space for small- to medium-sized gatherings is adequate, and did we mention you can land a pretty good rate this time of year?
That business is important to all of us. But for those who can take a few weeks to shake off some of the “fried-crispy” syndrome a busy ski season can create, this is also a great time to get away to warmer, more-predictable climes.
With all that in mind, it makes little sense to put much, if any, of our marketing muscle to work this time of year.
We really do have a “mud season,” and that’s just fine. There’s plenty of glory to be found in the summer, the weeks when fall’s colors are at their glowing best and, of course, our wonderful, wonderful winter.