The on-mountain staff rocks in Beaver Creek and Vail! |

The on-mountain staff rocks in Beaver Creek and Vail!

“Catch people doing something good.”

“Criticize in private, praise in public.”

So this one is for all of you who are working on the mountains at Vail and Beaver Creek wearing a red jacket with a cross, a red jacket with an “i”, a blue jacket, a black ambassador uniform, a yellow jacket, a white cookie outfit, or a mountain operations uniform. You all rock!

As a community volunteer in Beaver Creek, I have the opportunity to interact with many of our guests, and over the past few years I have had the privilege to be one of the volunteers who gets to lead the mountain welcome tour. Every Saturday I get to meet new people and ski with them for two or three hours. During this time my partner and fellow tour leader Fred and I get to know them and share information about the mountain and the Vail Valley.

Recently however, we have been on the receiving end of the information. The last few weeks the positive feedback from guests about the skiing experience has been absolutely overwhelming. The guests are commenting on how great the on-mountain staff is. They have shared specific examples of how all the lift operators smile and wish them a good run. They talk about the red-jacketed guest service personnel scanning their passes and how they are welcoming and fun.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Some of our guests are staying in Avon or Beaver Creek and spend time skiing in Vail. Some of our guests who go on the tour are staying in Vail and come over to Beaver Creek to ski or ride for the day. And the feedback has been the same no matter which mountain they ski.

As a matter of fact, one couple on our tour were avid skiers. They have skied all over the world and when my partner Fred asked them where their favorite place to ski was, they quickly said Beaver Creek and Vail are now their favorite places because of the terrain, the villages, but more importantly, the people and the total experience.

Before each tour, CJ from skier safety comes over and shares information about the safety code and helps kick off each tour with a fun and educational five-minute talk to the guests. Many of our tour participants later comment on how helpful the information is, as they aren’t aware of some of the codes and rules, especially regarding the right of way on the mountain. Great job, CJ!

Even our guests who unfortunately need help from the ski patrol have nothing but great things to say about the care they receive. Addy’s team has been doing an unbelievable job in Beaver Creek for years and this year they are doing another fantastic job. I led a guest down to the clinic after her friend had been taken down on a sled. I came upon the incident after ski patrol had already responded, but the guest couldn’t stop telling me how wonderful the ski patrol team was in caring for her friend. They responded quickly, showed genuine concern, seemed to have a lot of knowledge and experience, and were gentle and attentive during the whole ordeal. I have witnessed this personally time and time again over the past eight years. Kudos to Addy and all the patrollers.

As someone who skis here, I appreciate you all and, more important, I know our guests are appreciating what you do each and every day. Keep smiling, keep informing, keep caring, and our guests will keep coming back to Beaver Creek and Vail.

If you haven’t taken the mountain welcome tour yet, come up and see us at 10 a.m. at the top of Chair 6 in Beaver Creek any day of the week. It’s free and a lot of fun. And if you come on a Saturday you can ski around with Fred and me for a few hours. Thanks again for all your efforts; I am proud to serve with each of you. If you have a specific story to share, e-mail me at and I look forward to seeing you on the hill.

Michael Norton is former president of the Ziglar company, and writes weekly about positive thinking and action.

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