Letter: Vail is investing in the wrong direction
The proposed new Sun Down Chair is in the wrong direction! It won’t solve the problem it is intended to address and will ruin the Back Bowls’ well-known sanctuary. The epic lift line that occurs at Chair 5 in the first hour of a powder day never fails to go viral. The non-skier’s solution to save face is to add another lift to get more people out of the bowl to prevent the viral photo.
Vail Resorts seems to make decisions with marketing material in mind, not skier experience. Can you blame them? These execs look at spreadsheets trying to squeeze every penny from the lifeblood of their mountains, customers and employees. They think ‘what better way to solve this epic lift line than to give easier access to the terrain what many locals and passionate Vail skiers consider to be some of the most consistent snow quality in back — the terrain accessible from the top of chairs 3 and 7.
These overpaid corporate suits don’t understand the flow of skier traffic on a powder day. Chair 5 is the first stop in the back from folks accessing the mountain from all three base areas: 8-2-7-5, 19-7-5; 1-3-5, 1-2-7-5, 1-4-5; 6-11-5. Everyone hits 5 at the same time as they go to work their way farther east — to China and Blue Sky.
Their new lift won’t solve this problem. It is in the wrong direction.
If Vail wants to put millions into a flashy capital investment to reduce the hour-long photo-worthy backup at 5, they should put a lift that serves the direction of traffic flow — east — installing the lift from the bottom of 5 to the top of Red Zinger/Emperor’s Choice.
Their new lift will ruin many Vail skier’s favorite snow. Alas, there is a reason behind the names Seldom and Never — it takes work and time to access this terrain, especially multiple times a day. The new chairlift will eliminate this sanctuary. If Vail follows through with this lift, its leadership must at least do us the favor of renaming Seldom and Never to Always and All the Time.