Vail Daily editorial: A good start | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily editorial: A good start

the Vail Daily Editorial Board

We are farmers, you know — only our crop is visitors.

The analogy might be a bit of a reach, but just like farming, we need the right weather to grow a good crop. Of course, the people who run our ski hills do their best to get all they can out of what nature provides, but the more snow we have, the more our groomers, marketers and others can get out of it.

This ski season — like the first days of the 2014-15 season — looks to be ready to start with a big, snowy splash. Vail Resorts announced Monday it will open Friday with 566 acres of terrain accessed by seven lifts. Gondolas will run out of both Vail Village and Lionshead. The resort company will serve up hot chocolate and breakfast burritos to Opening Day crowds. But, most important, nature has served up a family Thanksgiving-sized portion of delicious, delectable snow.

Longtime locals know well what a treat Vail’s big opening really is. Resort opening days are too important to be left to the whims of storm systems, but that sometimes means that snow guns play an outsized role in what Opening Day looks like.

How many times has Vail opened with little more than the Born Free run open?

This year, though, is a treat — at least for now.

We all know that our valley can go for awkward stretches during which bright sun and blue skies hold little, if any, new snow. We’ll almost certainly have periods like that in the coming season.

This season might be a bit different. You’ve probably heard about an unusually big “El Nino” pattern set up in the Pacific Ocean west of South America. While El Nino patterns historically bring average to just below-average winter precipitation to our area — and tend to drop big moisture on the Front Range — the weather so far seems to be doing a good job building a nice base for not just the ski season, but the water season to come when the weather warms again.

Whether that lasts is anyone’s guess. Forecasters tend to get nervous predicting the weather more than about 10 days in advance, and long-range forecasts deal in probabilities, not specifics.

For now, though, let’s revel in what we have, and look to the skies to nurture the coming season’s crop of guests.