The coveted press release |

The coveted press release

Bernie Grauer

About this time every year, ski resorts everywhere send out volumes of press releases to generate news coverage and entice people back for another winter of frozen fun and games on the side of their mountains.Typically, the press release is a way to show you how they have already spent the money that will come from the higher lift ticket prices they plan to nab you with this season. All of the press releases are basically a variation of the following:MT. PERFECT OPENS NEW CHAIRLIFTWe have built the world’s 19th six-passenger chairlift and are having a contest to name it. The winner will receive a lifetime parking pass, which will enable him/her to park within three miles of the lifts on the second Tuesday of every month, except during the holidays, spring break and on powder days. The deadline is Dec. 19.MT. PERFECT IS NOW MT. PERFECT SMELLINGWe have spent a frightful amount of money relocating the Base Lodge septic tank drain field away from the high end of the parking lot. That end of the lot will no longer smell like low tide at the sewer plant every warm afternoon. As a result of this expensive work, wewill need to increase lift ticket prices by 20 percent.MT. PERFECT GOES INTERNATIONALManagement has put its stamp of approval on a much bigger budget so at least half of the people over in the public relations and advertising departments can spend spring, summer and fall in London and Tokyo. The department heads will spend most of the year in these two markets on a rigorous, fact-finding mission to ascertain if there is a market in those markets for our resort.DESIGNATED SKIER NO LONGER NEEDEDIn response to many complaints and drunken skiing accidents, we have completed a new kinder, gentler, flatter catwalk leading down from the mountaintop restaurant. This should not only accommodate all of the skiers who will continue to get drunk duringlunch, but also protect those skiers who have been unfortunate enough to cross paths with these drunks. We like to keep everyone happy.FAT SKIS SURCHARGEAnyone skiing on fat skis will now have to pay a 30 percent premium on their daily lift tickets on a powder day. A survey by Count ’em and Pay revealed that fat skis allow skiers to get 40 percent more runs on a powder day. This, in addition to the factthat fat skis leave a very wide track on the hill, has prompted the change in lift ticket pricing. We feel this will create a more fair skiing experience for everyone on the hill.BROWN BAGGING MADE EASIERWe’ve noticed that many of you like to bring your own lunches. In an effort to hold down food prices for all of you budget-minded skiers, we have installed microwave ovens in the old restaurant at the top of the hill. We will be selling a wide selection of frozen entrees that can be nuked. You are welcome to bring your own microwave food; however, there will be a small charge of $5 per minute for use of the microwaves. (This charge will prevent the necessity of increasing lift ticket prices even more.)RESERVED PARKING AVAILABLEFor an extra $10,000, any current stockholder can now buy non-dividend earning, special issue shares of stock that will permit him or her to then convert those shares to a special privilege parking space right next to the lodge for an additional $5,000 per season. Unfortunately, these non-dividend bearing shares of stock are non-refundable, but in an effort to keep skiing families together longer, the shares will automatically be given to the losing party in a divorce.THE LAW STEPS INTO THE LAWYER CONTROVERSYOut-of-bounds skiers will now be out of luck when they try to hire contingency fee attorneys in the future. Next winter, the new highly controversial contingency fee lawyer restriction will be in effect. After extensive lobbying by the State Bar Association, the law was nevertheless changed by the State Tourist Bureau. If you get hurt skiing out of bounds and want to sue, good luck.YEAR-ROUND SKIING FINALLY AVAILABLESome skiers thought our investment in a $79 million snowmaking system was excessive; however, this investment is now paying off since we have also introduced a billion-dollar artificial ice machine.This will enable us to keep all 23 runs on the lower mountain open 365 days a year. We’re sure you’ll understand the modest increase in lift ticket prices necessary to make this possible.Please feel free to call us for more information on any of our recent, cutting-edge developments or where to go to borrow money for your ski vacation. We regret that at this time, we are still unable to report our new lift ticket prices for the upcoming season until we figure how much it will cost us to blanket the mountain in artificial snow in order to stay competitive with other resorts and open in time for Thanksgiving.Warren Miller has been a ski filmmaker for more than half a century. He lived in the Vail Valley for 10 years, and is now director of skiing for the Yellowstone Club near Big Sky, Mont.

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