Carnes: A doomsayer’s prophecy |

Carnes: A doomsayer’s prophecy

Every few years, we can have extraordinary amounts of snowfall during the last week or two in November, causing a tremendous jump in December bookings, along with a nice spike for February and March.

Tourists (PC types call them “guests”) are quickly excited at the prospects for amazing snow during their upcoming visits and will spend the following months paying rapt attention to online snow totals and viewing mountain webcams from their little cubicles (as long as The Boss isn’t lurking anywhere nearby).

But what if another flake never fell from that point forward for an entire winter?

Depending upon the amount of their respective nonrefundable deposits, many would choose to forego their trip, chalking up the loss to experience (aka bad luck) and hoping to plan better next year.

Yet, like greener grass on the other side of the fence, about half (my nonprofessional guess) would make the trip anyway, making the best of whatever natural snow remained and pretending the crusty man-made stuff was just as fun and enjoyable.

Throughout the entire ordeal, local businesses and their respective employees would be forced to assess, adapt and adjust to the sudden drop in revenue, with many succumbing to the loss with despair, dejection and depression.

Numerous businesses would close, homes would be foreclosed upon, and more than a few families would vacate the area for non-white pastures elsewhere as a result (although an analogy, me thinks this sounds familiar).

A few, myself included, would rejoice for the longer golf season, but either way, the big picture for Happy Valley would be uglier than Michael Jackson autopsy photos.

At least two, and probably three, winter seasons would have to completely cycle through – with consistent snowfall – to even begin coming close to reaching the overall revenue levels we were used to before the big No-Show-Snow year.

Here in July of 2009, the entire planet is smack in the middle of a snow-free winter, with the U.S. economy straining to suck up the void of revenue with a vacuum emblazoned with the nameplate “U.S. Government” and spewing enough manure out the back side to fill up Pelosi’s hole of liberal promises and Palin’s pit of irrational denial.

Just because huge banking giants such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan have recently announced record-setting profits for the second quarter of 2009 and paid back their bailout funds (plus interest), don’t think we are anywhere near a quick return to white-out nights and pow-pow days as a nation.

Just because a few companies and industries are not “as down as they were” or are “losing less than expected” doesn’t mean any of them are making a profit, thus signaling an end to our recession.

Unemployment has yet to peak, many businesses are just beginning to reach the conclusion that now is finally the time to give it up, and the resulting fallout from both will take a number of business cycles to complete before it’s time to order that new widescreen HDTV or put money down for that next vacation of a lifetime or a new home.

Top it off with new taxes, hyper-inflation and an overall feeling of painting oneself into a corner with poop-smelling primer, and we have, at the very least, a few years of solid mud season before the snow will start falling again.

Just because we’re not selling all of our ski equipment doesn’t mean it’s time to use it again.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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