Carnes: A primer for new arrivals | VailDaily.com
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Carnes: A primer for new arrivals

According to rental units available, there’s more newbies here than ever (yet we’re still short of workers, go figure). So I am providing a brief primer for new arrivals to hopefully assimilate into Happy Valley a tad quicker than your predecessors.

First and foremost, welcome, and thanks for helping save our backsides for another winter season. This will probably be the toughest one yet for us, all but learning the answers to the statements below will hopefully assist in your personal integration as a local.

Only a true local knows:



  • The location of the actual Lionshead and why it doesn’t look like it used to and can point out the differences between the old and new Two Elk (and no, the old one wasn’t called “One Elk”)
  • Why a Vail Mountain trail map containing the words “No Tickee, No Laundry” is a valuable collector’s item, and which Vail hotel is named after a euphemism for “butt in the snow”
  • Exactly where we used to gorge on KFC and Burger King Whoppers in the Village and what K-Vommit referenced
  • At least one good story to share about a local legend named Packy and why sharing a beer with either Bart or Yeti would be difficult
  • Who Pete, Rod and Morrie are, with no last names required, and where President Ford’s old house is located.
  • A story to share about the Great Race and the BB&B, and knows why for the first 20 years or so local phone numbers only had four digits (or five if you lived way downvalley, like in Edwards)
  • The easiest hiking route up Holy Cross when looking from the top of the Lionshead gondola and can point to spots where they’ve stood along the Gore while eagerly detailing the route and how long it took
  • Whether the Vail Daily is conservative, liberal or neither
  • A trust-funder as a friend, and if not licensed themselves, has multiple friends who are at least part-time real estate agents
  • Why the river rocks around Minturn are red and the name of the only true local to ever play a down in the NFL
  • How to drive a roundabout (warning: the process tends to vary from local to local) and how to dress for “mountain formal” and show up on “mountain time” (see above warning)
  • Where Rocky Mountain “scareways” used to land, and why alcohol was mandatory before takeoff or landing, even for some pilots
  • And fondly remembers The Slope, Clancy’s, breakfast at the Menu and DJ’s, the Crossroads movie theater, sitting on pillows and watching belly dancers while eating Moroccan food with our fingers, Ruby’s, the Penalty Box, the Brass Parrot, Drinkwater Park (and the view it had before escalators) and “going out of town for dinner” usually meant The Gashouse

Although this list could be much longer, finally I’ll say only a true local never stays unemployed on purpose (unless retired or the aforementioned trust-funder) and grins like a 5-year-old upon seeing the first snowflakes of the season, even when it’s before Labor Day.

What, you didn’t think I was going to provide the answers did you? Now get out there and start seeking them, so you can at least pretend to know what the hell you’re doing here.



Good luck, and thanks again for joining the party.


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