Vail Valley Voices: Let’s be positive
Vail, CO, Colorado
As I crested the top of Vail Mountain Thursday night on my hike, I became infuriated with the word “sucks.” I spent most of the hike listening to my iPod when the battery ran, out and I was stuck with my thoughts. As I recapped my day, the word “sucks” came up multiple times, not by me, but friends, co-workers and guests. Where did all the Debbie Downers and Pessimistic Pauls come from? Are we really that big of snow snobs?
I work in a condominium association, and on this particular morning a very large group canceled due to “lack of snow.” “Who told you this?” we asked. I won’t disclose the department or name of the person who called this group to inform them, “The snow sucks. Don’t bother coming out!”
I would hope most people in this valley would realize that we make our money when people come for vacation. Vail is dependent on tourism. If these people don’t come, we do not make money.
This cancelation, along with others in the valley, creates a trickle effect. It affects the airlines, ground transportation, hotels, restaurants, bars, ski rental shops, ticket sales, ski lesson sales. Everyone is affected.
Vail is a beautiful, world-class resort and we are all fortunate to be able to call this home. Why not keep a positive outlook on the situation? Yes, we all know the conditions are not normal, and it is disappointing. But there are much worse situations: imagine skiing on a solid sheet of ice in minus 15 degrees, a slow triple lift, high winds. Or even 40 degrees and rain.
If you have ever skied on the East Coast, you know what I mean. We are so fortunate that Vail is still making snow, grooming 24/7 and there are blue skies.
More than anything, it comes down to creating that great experience for the people who are coming in and paying the bills. We want them to enjoy their vacation and experience all the Vail Valley has to offer!
If they are sitting next to someone at lunch, or checking into the hotel and they overhear locals talk about how the “snow sucks,” that gives them a half-empty approach to what could be a great vacation. Many of our visitors come from areas where skiing is mediocre at best. Why burst their bubbles because you choose words like “sucks and horrible?” Try “variable conditions” or “thin coverage.”
I have been a ski instructor teaching out of Lionshead for eight years. Before that I skied Crested Butte, and before that the East Coast. I have seen all kinds of conditions and I am grateful every day to have this lifestyle, and to ski every day. Yes, 3 feet of fresh powder to practice my back flip would be awesome right now, but that might not happen this season. Yet I am so excited to ski as much as possible.
If you are bored with the snow but still want to get out there, borrow your roommate’s snowboard, skis or teles and try something new. Bet you won’t complain about the conditions on chair 15 and practice parkway. Enjoy the groomers, views, half pipe and get creative. Learn something new or practice something old. We all have room for improvement.
For those of us in the service industry, relying on tourist business to pay for our off-season vacation, new toys and lifestyle, we ask that if you have nothing nice to say about the snow, then say nothing at all.
Stop posting pictures, keep comments to yourself and don’t discourage the people who still want to ski. We obviously can’t deny the lack of snow, but when we are positive it is contagious! Think snow!
Amy Scherm works at the front desk of the Antlers at Vail.
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