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Carnes: Last call for winter

Like last call at the Ford Amphitheater around the end of September each year (except 2020, duh), last chair was finally called Sunday and another ski season has come to an end, and no doubt this was one for the record books.

Some record books need to be burned and forgotten.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the season itself was bad (the snow did kinda suck though) or shortened due to something truly unimaginable like a worldwide pandemic killing millions (like that could ever happen), but the ski reservation system left most with the taste of fresh orange juice immediately after brushing one’s teeth.



Not all, but most.

Either way, being forced to reserve time on the slopes is toast for next season according to head honcho Rob Katz, hopefully never to be used again, relegated to a footnoted asterisk on the pages of Vail Resorts’ “Big Book of Season Totals” (if there is such a thing).



To those few of you asking if the absence of a reservation system will lead to longer lift lines, well, not that I’m an expert at prognostication (see: Lauren Boebert, election), but I seriously doubt it. However, I do know having lift lines snake down Bridge Street past Pepi’s and blown out of proportion over social media is a big mistake, and that’s even if the town of Vail allowed the outside bars to open first thing every morning serving two-for-one Bloody Mary’s in solid white, biodegradable cups.

And those call center wait times?

Look, promising a “much more robust chat offering” is fine, as I hate when offered chats are not robust enough, but the truth is as long as they don’t have undecipherable accents as if they just walked off the set of “Slumdog Millionaire,” I don’t really give a damn where they are if they answer the phone within 30 seconds or so and can provide logical answers to simple questions.

So what do we do now that convenient skiing is kaput for the next seven months?

A scant few will simply sit around and watch the “White Power Hour” (I believe they call it the Tucker Carlson show) while loudly complaining (online and anonymous in most cases) that the 148 mass shootings so far in 2021 (54 over the last month) were due to fear of Antifa and the Black Lives Matter crowd (note: totals have most likely changed since crafting this column).

But we can safely ignore them most of the time. Unfortunately, there are those moments we must still be vigilant when they’re packing heat while shopping for cupcakes at City Market in case someone drops a large can of all-beef chili and they mistake it for a gunshot and start shooting blindly in retaliation to prove how gun-safety conscious they are.

But that happens so rarely we can just toss a few thoughts and prayers in the general direction and move on.

Anyway, the rest of us can look forward to hiking, biking, camping, fishing, golfing, river rafting, shows at the amphitheater and making plans for quick escapes if we have another fire season like 2020.

So, as always, there’s much to look forward to before next ski season, and here’s to hoping “last call” at the amphitheater lasts all summer long.


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