Vail Daily column: Perceptual powers of persuasion

Richard Carnes
My View

Sometimes we can have more of an effect on people than we think.

Take last Monday for example, when Vail Resorts held its annual Seniority Celebration Dinner, which celebrates employees who have been loyal to the company in five-year increments. From those employed for five years all the way to — 2016 was a special year — an individual who has been with the company for a whopping 45 years.

That’s a whole lot of loyalty.

I was standing around, watching the loyalists, silently cherishing the fact that I’ve lived 32 years in Happy Valley and never once worked for “The Man,” when the local leader of said Man approached me.

“Hi Richard,” he said with a pleasant smile.

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“Hello,” I replied, and we tossed a few platitudes each other’s way for a moment.

“Hey, I saw on the news today that a few resorts east of here just officially extended their season by a week. You guys even own one of ’em, so what are you waiting for?”

“Well,” he said, “I’m pretty sure most people in this room can’t wait for the season to end. They have vacations planned, construction jobs to start, other summer jobs and so on. I don’t think they’d be too thrilled if we extended everything and possibly screwed up so many plans.”

“But the snow is so good right now,” I pleaded. “You’ve done it in the past. I think you should do it now. This was the best March in recent memory. It would make an awful lot of people awfully happy for a bit, even if it’s only a week.”

He was listening, or at least pretending to, so I continued, “Another week of income, another week of skiing, and since most renters pay for the entire month of April, it’s not as if they are going anywhere anytime soon anyway.”

“Yeah, we’ll see … ” and he was whisked away to work on his opening speech, or at least something more interesting than moi, which is not exactly a top ten challenge.

Yet lo and behold, barely 24 hours later Vail made the official announcement of keeping the mountain open for another week.


I think not.

The town of Vail immediately jumped on the bandwagon, extending bus service for the extra week, keeping the parking structures in “pay to park” mode, but also pointing out the overtime that would come into play for the unplanned-for staffing needs.

It has to come out of somebody’s budget.

There are also a number of construction projects set to begin work on Monday the 11th that simply cannot be rescheduled, vacations with hefty non-refundable deposits, airline tickets that cannot be transferred to other dates and dozens of other calendar-based events that must be juggled for the simple reason of satisfying seven extra days of an open ski mountain.

But it’s what we all wanted, right?

So, hey, I only have two and a half words I can add at this point for my apparently very persuasive argument.

You’re welcome?

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at

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