Vail Daily’s Don Rogers: Let’s not panic quite yet
Vail, CO, Colorado
Sure, 2012 might bring the end of the world, but it’s assuredly not the end of the snow.
Give the snowcat drivers medals for making the best of what we’ve got. Crank up the snowmaking. The guest experience can still emphasize blue bird, and our snow is still better than anything back East, in Europe or west of us. At least we’re not having 2,000-acre wildfires like around Reno in what’s supposed to be winter.
Snow farming, being the “what did you do for me last night” business that it is, has put firmly into history what was some pretty good preseason cover that allowed Vail and Beaver Creek to open more territory earlier than usual.
Last year’s bounty probably raised our expectations, too. But as snow droughts go, as frustrated as everyone is right now, the timing of Mother Nature’s little vacation didn’t hurt December so much with visitors.
The back bowls haven’t opened yet, and this has been the longest wait for them since Reagan was president. Denver being in the snow track, along with southern Colorado, seems just meanspirited, like we’re paying dearly now for our good luck last year when we had the most snow ever and got to crack jokes about global warming.
Now “snow drought” gets 17 million hits on Google. As of Jan. 4, only 22 percent of the nation has snow cover this year. Last year at this time it was 48 percent. Apparently this is the least amount of the country covered in snow since this stat was recorded.
There’s a tease of a suggestion of snow on Saturday. But we’ve heard that before. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Still, I’ve broken out my rose-colored goggles. The best is yet to come, and we’ll finish the season just fine. I’m making that a mantra. Yessir.
Meantime, the guy from Texas I bumped into Thursday had a pretty good perspective: “Snow’s … mediocre, but we came here to ski and that’s what we’re doing.” Friends of friends from Michigan thought it was just fine up on the hill. Did I mention they’re from Michigan? Anything from what they ski back home is always going to be “just fine.” Gotta love ’em.
Now, the locals are a little pickier about when we’ll go skiing or snowboarding. But we’re terribly spoiled, and we’re not really the target market for the winter economy, right? We’re just giving our friends from Texas and Michigan some elbow room.
I’m kind of looking at this like the stock market dip in early fall. If it continues into February, then maybe I’ll worry. We still have a lot of folks in town for this time of year, and skiing.
Meantime, the odds only go up in our favor from here. This lull should be history soon enough.
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