Vail Daily editorial: Enjoy this week

the Vail Daily Editorial Board

Clare Booth Luce, a 20th century author, politician and ambassador, gets credit for the phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished.” That seems to apply to Vail Resorts’ decision a couple of weeks ago to extend Vail Mountain’s ski season another week.

Vail Resorts earlier this year was catching heat for its original closing date of April 10. Many in Vail’s business community clamored for the mountain to stay open until the third weekend in April.

The resort company made the right decision. With Easter this year falling on March 27 — almost as early as it can, in fact — company planners looked at travel patterns and visitor numbers — which always fall significantly after Easter — and decided to close relatively early.

But then another old cliche hit town — men plan and God laughs. The El Nino weather pattern this year delivered exactly what historic data indicates — big early snow, a relatively dry mid-winter and a snowy late winter and early spring.

The snow came, feet at a time, keeping the snow deep toward the end of the ski season. Vail Mountain Executive Vice President and COO Chris Jarnot saw the snow and reacted as a ski industry professional should — he decided to keep the lifts running another week.

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And, predictably, there came more grumbling. Some town business owners and employees said the announcement should have been made sooner. That would have given more time to make plans for the week or to postpone plans for post-season travel, they said.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Yes, the late announcement of an extension created some inconvenience. But, as Jarnot correctly noted in a story last week, this is a ski resort, and ski resorts react to weather conditions.

That’s easy to forget sometimes, since there’s now so much to do in town and grooming technology has advanced enough to provide at least adequate skiing even in dry years. The winter of 2012-13 proved that.

We often like to think that Vail’s different from the rest of the world. That’s often true. But there are other times when outside forces have the last word in determining what happens here.

With that in mind, carve out a few hours this week, get on a lift and revel in the joy of a few extra days to play on the best mountain in the world.

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