Local businesses work to adjust to early Daylight Savings Time | VailDaily.com

Local businesses work to adjust to early Daylight Savings Time

Scott N. Miller
Vail, CO, Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY ” It won’t be spring when the country springs forward this year.

Thanks to an obscure provision in a 2005 law, Daylight Savings Time starts this year on March 11, about three weeks earlier than usual. The country goes back on Standard Time on Nov. 2 this year, about a week later.

The news comes as a surprise to many, and there are some Internet rumblings about possible problems with the time change. But some local computer companies and technology directors don’t seem particularly worried.

“What we’ll see is probably pretty trivial,” said Brian Levine of Market Computers and Stuff in Vail.

But the change again reveals just how computerized a country we live in, he said.

“Trains, planes, just in time inventory systems, and medical equipment could all be affected by it,” Levine said.

Vail Valley Medical Center Manager of Information Technology Mike Guy said he and his people have been working on re-programming computers for some time now, and are about finished with the project.

“It’s been every computer, from the Windows desktop machines to the mainframes,” Guy said.

Tech people have been installing software “patches” to automatically adjust computers’ clocks automatically. Microsoft and Apple have the programs available for computers built before the law was passed, but Microsoft’s patch won’t work on Windows 2000 or earlier versions of the Windows operating system. Those clocks will have to be re-set by computer owners.

Outside the world run by computers, Vail Resorts recently extended its lift hours at Vail from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Those hours will stay the same through the April 22 end of the Vail ski season.

The extra weeks of Daylight Savings Time were put into an energy policy law almost two years ago with the idea that an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day would save oil. At the time, research done by the House Energy and Climate Committee indicated the extra weeks of Daylight Savings Time could save the country 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

But the new date to spring forward has caught a lot of non-tech types by surprise.

“That’s news to me,” said Melinda Gladitch, communications director for the Eagle County School District.

There may be more media attention to the early Daylight Savings Time over the next couple of weeks, but a few folks may be caught by surprise March 11.

But Alex Mitchell, owner of Digital Systems in Eagle-Vail, said that’s about all that will happen.

“It’s not like anything’s going to blow up,” he said.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or smiller@vaildaily.com.

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