Vail Daily letter: Easier path
Vail, CO Colorado
I come to Vail every year from the U.K., where I am registered disabled. I can ski without assistance but cannot walk very far without significant pain and discomfort. Walking in ski boots aggravates this condition.
Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain and Winter Park all have disabled parking within easy walking distance of the nearest ski lift and/or “ski back to the car” disabled parking. The Beaver Creek Bear Lot disabled parking is within 30 yards of the bus stop to Beaver Creek Landing.
The nearest disabled parking in Vail is the Lion-shead parking structure. The walk to or from the Lionshead gondola area back to the parking struc-ture and/or the resort condo drop-off area, on the far side of the turning circle, is just too far to be acceptable or practicable.
It is possible for the resort bus to drop off at Golden Peak but not to pick up. This is closer, but this still requires climbing many stairs up to the Golden Peak lift.
Vail Resorts’ marketing stance is upscale, upmarket, continuous ” money’s no object” mas-sive property-development projects, heated side-walks, etc., and I am surprised that the Vail Town Council or even federal or state law does not insist on reasonable, cost-effective solutions to this problem. It also seems to me that a solution to this would further enhance Vail’s reputation and user-friendliness.
I understand that Vail is an old resort, that real estate and land are massively valuable and that it is clearly not practicable to start providing bus stops in Vail nearer to the ski lifts, but what about provid-ing some other solution at Lionshead?
Solutions that come to mind are gondola sys-tems such as Beaver Creek and Breckenridge or Avon/Beaver Creek – all of which seem to me as an outsider as massively expensive solutions. My solution would be a form of simple conveyor, a beltway (magic carpet ride) like the conveyors at the kids’ nursery slopes or the conveyor over the bridge to Strawberry Park at Beaver Creek. Com-pared with the massive investment in the gondola from the Westin in Avon or the new Lionshead development, the initial cost and ongoing running cost would seem to be chicken feed.
To provide two beltways, one from the bottom of the gondola to the corner of the walkway near Star-bucks and a further one to the turning circle-bus stop area, would not only solve this problem but be very popular with many people returning to Lion-shead from a hard day’s skiing – especially for old-er people, children, etc.
I would have thought this investment would soon pay for itself by resulting in increased footfall and revenue. It would give Vail a real marketing edge and a more caring image and would cheaply distinguish Vail from other competing resorts.
What about it, Vail?
Richard Fenwick, Pwllheli, Wales
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