Editorial: Picking up speed on Vail Mountain | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Picking up speed on Vail Mountain

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail CO, Colorado

The argument against new high-speed chairs in the Back Bowls is that they would erase the last bit of nostalgia to be found on Vail Mountain for the old, less-commercialized days of skiing.

Not to knock the old days, but we don’t think anyone gets sentimental about the long lines that sometimes form at the bottom of slow, plodding Chair 5. And we also think Vail Resorts, and the wider community, left the old days of skiing behind long ago in pursuit of enhancing the experience and the No. 1 ranking in SKI magazine.

Vail Resorts should strive to be the best ” in the skiing experience it sells to guests, in the convenience of getting around the resort, and in its environmental stewardship.

Also, the death of Earl Eaton on Sunday has us thinking about the progress of the ski industry and the visionaries who built Vail Mountain. We assume the founding fathers would also support faster chairlifts in the Back Bowls. The vision of Earl Eaton and the original investors was to create something new in the world of skiing ” sluggish, out-dated chairlifts and the irritated skiers who have to ride them wouldn’t seem to gel with the vision Vail Resorts has wisely carried on.

We think the purpose of being on the mountain is skiing, not waiting in lines or riding a chairlift no matter how pleasant the conversations with fellow skiers and snowboarders. The argument that a faster Chair 5 would crowd the Back Bowls may be countered by the fact that a high-speed quad would help people get back to Blue Sky Basin more quickly.

It also would help people get back to Lionshead more conveniently, and reduce some of that tedious end-of-the-day traversing.

The U.S. Forest Service, which has the final say, is now taking comments on Vail Resorts’ proposal. We hope Vail Resorts gets the approval to replace clunky old Chair 5 with a high-speed lift and build another high-speed lift in Sun Down Bowl. We agree with the skiers who say those are some real nice runs that are under-used because they’re a hassle to get to.

And, oh yeah, power the new lifts with solar panels or wind turbines.

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