Vail, Eagle County officials host first ‘Ski With the Electeds’ day Friday
Ready to ride?
The first Ski With the Electeds day of the 2018-19 ski season is Friday.
Additional days are Jan. 11, Feb. 22, March 22 and April 12.
Participants — who are responsible for their own lift tickets, equipment and food — are asked to gather at 10 a.m. at the base of Gondola One in Vail Village.
No RSVPs are needed, and people need to have an intermediate ability level.
VAIL — Last year, when the snow was late coming, a lot of seasonal employees spent a few weeks without work — and without paychecks.
Eagle County Commissioner Kathy Chandler-Henry met one of those employees at last season’s first Ski With the Electeds event, then went to work getting out information about food assistance programs.
Mostly, though, the winter events are a chance for residents to have some off-the-record time with elected officials, primarily from Vail and Eagle County.
Chandler-Henry and Vail Town Council member Greg Moffet started the ride days a few years ago, and both say the sessions have been valuable.
‘Breaking down barriers’
Moffet noted that he’s addressed the council a few times as a resident, and there’s a different feeling when talking to council members than sitting on the elected-official side of the room.
“I see this as breaking down barriers, and that’s a really good thing,” he said.
Chandler-Henry said she enjoys the ride days. Sometimes, it’s just a handful of county and town officials, as well as a guide from Vail Resorts. Sometimes, as many as 20 people are on the mountain.
Having a guide means “we can get in some pretty sweet turns,” Moffet said.
“It’s a pretty adept group,” he added. “Just try keeping up with (former Vail Mayor) Andy Daly.”
Both Chandler-Henry and Moffet said ski days are a reminder of why most of us came here.
“It’s a nice thing to say, ‘No really, I’m working,’” Chandler-Henry said.
Beyond making connections between residents and local government officials, Chandler-Henry said residents often make connections with each other.
That includes the elected officials. Moffet said he and Chandler-Henry had known each other professionally in the years before they started the ride days, but have since become friends.
And, Moffet added, it’s always nice to have someone from the county spend time in Vail, the primary economic engine of the area.
Chandler-Henry volunteers on Vail Mountain, and, Moffet added, “She’s engaged in our community. That’s a great thing for a county commissioner to do.”
Chandler-Henry noted that officials from other towns also come fairly often for the ride days in Vail. Avon Town Council member Jake Wolf is a frequent participant, as is Gypsum Town Council member Tom Edwards.
The ride days have carried over into a handful of summer hike days, too.
This is the last season that Moffet will be one of the hosts of the Ski With the Electeds days. Vail’s term limits mean he’s finished in November of 2019 with his eight-year stint on the board.
Both Moffet and Chandler-Henry said they hope someone else from that board continues to ski with locals.
“I hope he can pass the torch,” Chandler-Henry said. “It’s been great, and I hope we can keep it going.”
Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 970-748-2930.
Company officials say every aspect of Vail management is now focused on attaining the company’s goal of achieving a zero net operating footprint by 2030. Vail Resorts calls the plan their “Commitment to Zero,” and defines it a zero net carbon emissions by 2030, zero waste to landfills, and zero operating impact on forests and natural habitat.