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Mothers against extreme drinking

Elizabeth Chicoine

How do moms of our valley raise children in a place labeled Party Town USA?This has been the question bouncing around my mind as I routinely go about the duties of Mommy in Vail this week.The party-town label was a shock to me. Vail? Our tiny little home?The reference of party town came up as I was dissecting a new column in The Trail, Lushious Living. It bugs me. The “extreme party” culture is an undercurrent of Vail which has existed quietly in the past, but is it now in our future’s spotlight?The industry of skiing is now trying to market to yet another segment: party-town skiers. And where’s the money? New money seems to be coming from a sub-culture that moms may not like: booze, radical skiing and being recognized for pushing the envelope, so to speak.How can I ever imagine raising a TEENAGER in Vail? I read that the parent company of Ski Magazine, which also owns Skiing Magazine, is going to spice up the format of Skiing. It intends to tell more of the particulars about where to party in town and how to find the types of terrain featured in The X Games and such. Mothers in ski country, unite! A battle is being waged. Do we want our kids to know this stuff?The front page of the Denver Post recently featured the principal of Aspen High School confronting the extreme risks of skiing, X Games style. Principal Kendall Evans stated that skiing at this level puts youth into the mentality of “Injury is a badge of honor. Injury is absolutely a status symbol.”Party towns rely on this mentality.Extremism.Extreme ski.Extreme party.Extreme sex.Extreme excess.Party town USA. If you are extreme, come visit us in Vail.Yuck! The biggest problem that I have with my inner dialogue against our marketing label of party town hits home with my new teammate at The Trail, Bridget Blackwell. Foolish young kids will see Lushious Living as a fraternal order in which to be mentioned and noticed.I owe those mothers of college grads from afar a watchful eye. Let me say, I am trying. Do not be featured as a voyeur in a local paper, wishing to see your alcoholic night in tomorrow’s news. A roost of drunken fools is only funny to the flock. Outsiders see you as simply drunk, not reliable, and certainly not hirable.Instead, be the next champion on the podium to accept a Legend of Vail Medal. Ski hard. Train hard. Behave well. Make your mom proud.Do all of this, and forever, you will live well. The future awaits and mom believes in you. Together, let’s pierce the veil of what the label of Party Town USA can do to our kids.And make Vail proud of you we are a dedicated community, eager to welcome and encourage youth. No one ever grows old in Vail. We grow together. We are a small part of what makes up the communities of the Rocky Mountains. As we watch the marketing gurus invade our press, we want to avoid mistakes before they happen.As Evans said, “We are not going to wait until there is a catastrophic injury before we get concerned.”In this same resolute stance, let all mountain moms unite against the marketing teams of skiing pursuing this tangent of where to party in our ski towns. Moms, let’s speak out and say, “Not in my backyard!” VTEdwards resident Elizabeth Chicoine writes about matters of the family for the Vail Trail. She can be reached for comment at echicoine@centurytel.net.


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