Valley residents look ahead to new year
December 31, 2014
EAGLE COUNTY — On New Year's Eve every year, choruses of "Auld Lang Syne" ring through the valley as this community raises glasses to times past — a tradition alongside countdowns, kisses, hoots and hollers for times to come.
We toast to those "days of long ago" and the futures in front of us. To those we have lost, where we've been and what we've seen; to who we will meet, where we'll go and what we'll do.
We speak of resolutions, goals and dreams. Read on to hear what some members of the Vail Valley community have to say about 2015.
"What I prefer is to set intentions," said Corrie Crane, resident of Beaver Creek. "Intentions allow me to truly think about all the people and areas of my life I am truly grateful for. These intentions allow me to work on these areas to better improve my mental and physical health and well-being, my relationships, my career — my overall lifestyle."
Crane intends to focus on being in the present — not focusing on what happened yesterday or perhaps what might happen tomorrow, but today — "right here, right now," she said.
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"I intend to live a more established life, focusing on compassion, adventure, joy, peace and service to others," she said.
In 2015, Crane plans to travel to Africa to serve people in the slums of Kenya with the Africa Yoga project. The service trip, she said, will help to better, empower, elevate and educate them through the practice of yoga and service projects in their local areas.
"A new year is always an exciting time to look more in depth at all the areas of your life and how you can positively improve those areas," she said.
Erik Sale, of West Vail, shared how this year he will focus on strengthening personal and community connection.
"I am clear that the greatness of my life is given by the people and relationships in it," Sale said. "Therefore, my resolution is to play big in 2015, and expand what's possible in being a good friend, brother, son, uncle, lover, contributor and member of my community.
"While that might sound a little cheeky, when I accomplish all that, my life gets to be no less than extraordinary," he said.
Some hopes and dreams of the year, like those of Edwards resident Sean Hanagan, start with snow.
"My hope is that the whole of the valley accept Ullr into their hearts and help ensure a long and fruitful ski season," Hanagan said.
The three-time reigning Man of the Cliff said he has a resolution to compete in more non-traditional events for 2015, like telemark freeskiing competitions, Highland Games and Squamish Days.
"My plans are to work hard to soften the edges of my 'summer hate' by nourishing a relationship to the river," he said, "and to renew my vows to Kelly on our 20th wedding anniversary in September."
Local business owner Tara Picklo said that like most, she is looking forward to 2015 as a fresh start. She said it is a good time to set new personal and business goals.
"The optimism and sparkles of the new year make it the perfect time to think I can do everything I have ever wanted to do," said Picklo, owner of Yeti's Grind in Eagle and Vail. "But then I often realize that I can't possibly do it all, so I hope to be realistic and strategic with setting goals this year."
Picklo and her husband have a personal goal to start a family this year, as she said it has been on the back burner with business always taking precedence.
"However, this is all mixed up with bike racing goals, so we shall see what prevails," she said. "Regardless, I will definitely be managing our bike team via Yeti's Grind and love bikes, and coaching Special Olympics cycling this summer."
At Yeti's, Picklo said her role has transitioned to being more of a manager-owner than a barista, which she said has been a "strange transition" after more than six years of working on the floor at both stores.
"So this year, my goals primarily revolve around becoming a more compassionate and proactive leader, so our employees feel supported," she said. "Happy baristas make coffee with care and give perky service."
Picklo, like many in the valley, said she is looking forward to the World Championships in February, and Yeti's Grind in Vail will be right in the middle of all the action. She said the Solaris Plaza will be a hub for nightly awards, concerts and fireworks, and the plaza will have big TV screens showing the races all day.
"We are expecting February to be much busier than usual and are excited to be in the middle of the action," she sad. "And we even have a new Yeti costume for the occasion."
Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation, said she hopes our entire community will fully enjoy the World Championships, and that we can inspire a whole new generation of skiers and snowboarders through the 2015 experience.
"Since the day the Vail Valley was awarded the upcoming World Alpine Ski Championships, 2015 has held a very special place in the hearts and minds of our entire community," Folz said.
Vail Mayor Andy Daly said the World Championships will provide quality TV programming, providing in-depth and impressions and positive exposure for both Vail and Beaver Creek.
"I think that it is really going to bode well for us," Daly said. "That's for the rest of this season, and also for reservations for next season, so that's extremely positive."
Daly said low oil prices and increased employment will be very positive for the area, especially for the summer months.
"We're all excited about the new facilities on Vail Mountain this year," he said. "And we'll begin to see some increase in traffic as a result of the investments Vail Resorts is making."
Daly said he is personally looking forward to a special trip this year with his son, who is on course to complete his international guide certification by April. He's taking Daly on the Haute Route, a hut-to-hut tour from St. Moritz to Chamonix.
While a lot of the locals may take worldly trips or experience big life events of their own, this year may be one in the valley that is hard to beat.
"I think every indication is that we're going to have a wonderful year — that's winter, the shoulder seasons and summer," Daly said. "Obviously, this winter is off to a great start, with probably the best snow we have seen in 20 years."