Carnes: Making offers we can’t (afford to) refuse
Amid this Godfather of a recession, it looks like someone is taking Fredo out for a little boat ride.
Unfortunately, Fredo represents the leisure and hospitality industry, which is down almost 50%, thus our little valley could be temporarily sleeping with the fishes, but hopefully nothing so permanent as a Smith & Wesson in the back of the head.
Sure, more and more businesses are attempting to return with debt-financed OPEN signs, but will physical customers return, at least to the levels required to keep the sign on? Virtual shopping might help for a limited number of retailers, but nowhere near enough to keep most afloat, especially around here where we’re much more dependent upon outdoor activities year-round.
Virtually playing golf, riding a gondola, hiking, fishing, biking, rafting, horseback riding, and attending concerts just can’t compete with the real thing.
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For some, age and current physical condition will be the determining factor, while a few will think of others first (GASP!) and still not risk possibly infecting friends and neighbors because they could be asymptomatic themselves.
Still others will continue to insist this virus is a bioweapon created in a lab by a bunch of power-hungry goonish dictators while shouting, “Stop the tyranny!”
Yes, they sadly exist even up here in the Rockies (although similar, we probably shouldn’t confuse them with redneck yahoos in Georgia killing a man for jogging while black), ranting and raving about the damn government daring to tell them what they can or cannot do while playing “Live and Let Die” in their heads.
But remember way back when the “No shirt, no shoes, no service” mantra brought months of protest from those insisting their constitutional rights were being infringed upon?
So enough about those vocal cupcake weapons of mass distractions, as we need to collectively accept the fact that no ski resort town will ever be “like it used to,” and quickly adapt however we must in order to continue forward.
National supply chain disruptions combined with the highest unemployment in modern history plus the majority’s sincere concern of being infected equals an extremely uncertain future for our economic viability. Right or wrong, good or bad, valid or conspiracy-based, none changes the reality of right now.
For restaurants, retailers and real estate, this is the beginning of a buyer’s market, where buyers will be making offers difficult to refuse, as damn near any revenue is better than none at all.
The currently unemployed don’t have the money to pay rent, much less spend a dime at a bar or restaurant, but for those possessing extra dimes, what will be your first sit-down restaurant test? Will one sneeze cause a mass panic for the door? Will you eat at a restaurant that insists upon taking your temperature before entering, or is this the only restaurant you will consider patronizing?
With designer masks becoming a thing, you could probably wear a MAGA mask and still be seated, although you might be placed in a corner facing a fake fern (I suppose you could insist it stands for “Morons Are Governing America”).
Anyway, while the Godfather is fiction, the challenges facing this valley are very real, so even though the “old ways” worked well for most of us, we now have to prepare for the new, hopefully improved, Happy Valley to arise.
Be patient, it’s gonna take a while.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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