Vail Daily editorial: Be thankful, be careful

the Vail Daily Editorial Board

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, a celebration that predates our nation’s independence. In addition to giving thanks for the blessings (or good fortune, if you prefer) of the previous season, Thanksgiving in the modern era also embodies the American desire to travel.

Let’s start with thanks. Our economy, particularly in the resorts, is showing the kind of strength not seen since the pre-bust days of 2007-08. DestiMetrics, a Denver-area-based consulting and research firm, projects that the coming season’s sales and lodging tax collections across the Rockies will surpass the previous peak of 2007-08. That’s going to help us all, since the valley’s non-resort areas will benefit.

That blessing comes with problems, of course. While employers aren’t yet back to the point where a pulse, even a weak one, would be qualification enough to hire someone, applicants who already have a place to live have an inside edge on the hiring track.

We’re also fortunate to have the best early-season snow in some time. Answers to questions about conditions are just a mouse-click away, and it’s also easy to book rooms on a moment’s notice. That combination ought to drive a few more people to the valley over the long holiday weekend. Again, those travelers benefit all of us, and we’re grateful for their presence.

Which brings us to travel and safety.

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We don’t want to sound like nannies, but please don’t drink and drive. That’s the quickest way we know to ruin a happy holiday road trip.

We’ve written this before, but please be careful driving in the snow. Are you rolling on decent tires? Do you have an extra blanket in the car? Is your cell phone charged?

Also, please be aware of snow conditions outside our ski area boundaries. A lot of people feel a strong lure to the untracked backcountry around the resorts. But before heading out, please make sure you’ve checked the Colorado Avalanche Information Center’s website. As of Tuesday, that site rated the avalanche danger around Vail and Summit County as “considerable.”

If you head into the backcountry, please remember the basic safety rules and make sure all your gear is working.

Again, the intent here isn’t to nag or scold. We just want our readers around to celebrate next year.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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