Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Our mountain to climb |

Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Our mountain to climb

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

It’ll take another storm or two to open much more than Born Free this weekend.

But that’s normal, and those storms will come soon enough. The ribbon of death will do – for the moment.

There will be plenty else happening this Opening Day and first weekend, with giveaways and dollar breakfast sandwiches with the dollar going to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. The village has a Snuggie Pub Crawl planned for Friday night; Snuggies are those cultish blankets with arms you might see advertised if watching bad cable programs.

Lindsey Vonn will be in town Saturday evening to do the ribbon-cutting honors for the new snowmaking system that allows her and athletes in Ski and Snowboard Club Vail to train here earlier in the year than before. A torchlight parade and fireworks are on the agenda, too.

And Saturday also features the Freddie Jones Band at Arrabelle’s Vail Square from 3 to 6 p.m.

Hey, maybe some snow will fall, too, if we’re lucky.

A good snow year is important enough to ask the Utes to dance early and often.

Vail Mountain powered through last season with high staffing and attention to the details of customer service, mountain chief Chris Jarnot told the Vail Chamber on Tuesday.

They’ll make sure those refugees from recession back home don’t see cutbacks in their Vail vacations this year, either. No less grooming. No fewer lifts running. All restaurants open. Lots of helpful attention.

All that and improved ski school options and better burgers on the mountain, too.

The resort’s internal customer satisfaction scores increased dramatically last year, Jarnot said. Maybe this season will translate to a rise from No. 3 in the Ski magazine survey, which actually is a credible marker of how Vail’s target customer feels about us.

As Councilman Kevin Foley pointed out later, visitors don’t distinguish between Vail Resorts and Vail the town and community. We’re all in this together.

“Vail All the Love” is back for winter to market primarily to the Front Range, and Vail Resorts is looking again at those higher-end “destination guests” from far away. That’s a signal of confidence in itself.

Vail and Beaver Creek, thanks to the Epic Pass, were among the very few resorts to see more skiers last season than the year before. If only those folks weren’t quite so thrifty.

Still, gains in market share will pay off eventually. That’s why doing a great job with customer satisfaction matters so much now – for Vail Resorts and the community.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at or 970-748-2920. He welcomes your comments.

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