Vail Daily letter: Came up short of the top |

Vail Daily letter: Came up short of the top

Otto Wiest
Vail, CO, Colorado

Recently in the Vail Daily, I was reading about Vail’s first gondola, which was also the first gondola in North America. It’s always fun to read about those Vail pioneers like Seibert, Parker, Eaton and so on, because those guys had guts. They knew what was necessary to do and they did it.

This first gondola was just an example the risk they took when they started Vail.

It’s not that way anymore. Now we have exactly the same gondola they had built 50 years ago.

In those days, it was something extraordinary, but today its old-fashioned.

This is not just my opinion. Most people I know think the same way. To go with a new gondola all the way up to the top of the ski mountain would have been the logical way. Sorry, it was cheaper and easier to do it the old way. But is cheaper also the best?

The bottleneck at Mid-Vail shows clearly the weak point of this decision, and the future upgrade of Chair 4 will be only a Band-Aid on this poor decision. Going all the way to the top, together with a restaurant, is today’s international standard.

Sorry, it’s done and won’t change, and we all will get used to it, but it is a lost chance for Vail. Let’s hope that the courage and spirit of those early days will not get lost on Vail Mountain.

Otto Wiest

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