Ferry: Vail, resort company need to settle differences
Vail, CO, Colorado
I probably don’t need to tell you this, but I will. I’m not very good at being politically correct. And it’s particularly hard when I view all of the parties as acting in ways that are self-serving and not in the best interest of the community as a whole. In fact, both sides are acting like the injured party when in fact they both need to start acting like responsible members of the community.
I bet you wonder who they are and what brought this on. Well, the who are the town of Vail and Vail Resorts and the what is the Epic Pass. But there’s more. There’s housing. And parking. But they’re not talking. So who suffers?
In listening to each side, you’re not quite sure it’s the same story. It’s a “he said she said,” “if only they had,” “I wish they would,” but in the meantime, it’s a “Since they haven’t, what do we do now?” scenario. And it’s all b. s.
Last week the ski company announced their new discounted season pass. Clearly it is seen by some as the greatest thing since sliced bread. Others view it as one more problem to compound the already intolerable crowds and parking shortage that exist on busy days. But that’s not my area of concern.
No. My concern is bigger than a ski pass price. It’s about the lack of respect being show throughout the town of Vail and it’s prevalent in almost all dealings. And the most recent example of that is the announcement last Tuesday. But don’t think that it’s the only example or the first example or that it will even be the last example.
The resort company issued a press release announcing their new pass. And the town government, residents and business owners read it in the newspaper. Or heard it on TV. Or received phone calls from the east coast, who seemed to get the word almost before we did.
So the announcement was made with total disregard as to the effect on the community. Which serves as a perfect segue to that term. A term thrown around last week by Vail Resorts as one of their priorities in planning their future. More explicitly, how to interact in a way that creates a positive relationship with the communities in which they do business. “Who do we look toward to guide our decisions?” I’d say so far, it’s not us.
But where’s the town in all of this? Not happy to be left out of the loop. But they’re the masters at that also, so maybe turnaround’s fair play after all. Maybe what goes around really does come around. Because the town regularly acts without informing the rest of us. Remember closing the parking garage to paint new lines in June? Or re-roofing the Information Booth in July? Or closing off the transportation center steps for re-sealing in August? All without notice? Now that the shoe’s on the other foot, maybe they’ll finally get it. Nobody like surprises.
The town’s disturbed because they were caught off-guard, not consulted on something that they view will put some serious strains on our infrastructure, or lack thereof.
The ski company says they’re not putting their business on hold while the town can’t decide their next move. That the town is the one dragging its feet. There are some who have suggested that VRI’s ploy in this move is to make parking so impossible that the town will be forced to put EverVail in fast gear. The ski company would call that egocentric, “There’s more to the world than Vail.”
The ski company says the parking problem will not be exacerbated by this pass. It’s totally naive to think that. In fact, it’s beyond naive; I just don’t know the word.
Yet for a town and company who both claim to value customer service, it’s unclear what message is being sent. But as I’m always quoting my father, I’ll give one of my mother’s now: actions speak louder than words. It starts with respect. On both sides.
For the guests, residents and business community.
The bottom line here is that none of us live in a vacuum. We’re too small, too interconnected, too interdependent. Whatever we do affects the next guy. And that’s where respect comes in. But it’s something in short supply.
It’s time for Vail Resorts and the town of Vail to sit down and act like adults. Better yet, act like children.
Remember when you’d fight with your sibling? In my case, it was my sister. We weren’t allowed to fight. Period. The explanation? We were all we had. We were in this together, like it or not.
But when we did get cross-wise, we had to sit down at the breakfast room table. We couldn’t get up until we apologized and agreed to play nice. It’s part of growing up.
Get the picture?
FYI: Cars have been parked 39 days on the Frontage Road so far. It’s supposed to be 13.
Do your part: call them and write them
To contact the Vail Town Council call 479-1860 X8 or e-mail town email@example.com.
To contact Vail Resorts call 476-5601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For past columns, vaildaily.com-commentary or search: ferry.
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