Letter: Vail Resorts’ leadership failing on multiple fronts
This ski season, Vail Resorts’ leadership has failed locals and guests with a subpar and unsafe skiing experience. Here’s the breakdown:
- Vail Resorts was extremely slow to comply with the county mandate on masks in indoor spaces on its gondolas. It still isn’t instructing their employees enough to actually enforce this rule. As our community COVID-19 numbers skyrocket, gondolas are one of the best places to catch the virus.
- As overworked/underpaid employees are strained or come down sick and resort operations suffer, Vail blames the “global talent shortage.” This is corporate speak for “we don’t want to pay people living wages.” The talent is there; Vail just needs to pay living wages for employees.
- Snow is Vail’s business. When other competing resorts can open terrain, but Vail Resorts’ resorts across the country can’t, that’s 100% Vail Resorts’ fault.
- The model of “sell as many passes as possible” clearly worked for the bottom line, but is that something we actually want for skiing? I’d gladly take an Epic Pass that’s north of $1,000 next year if it leads to shorter lift lines and fewer crowds on our ski hill. I’m not saying we should make skiing exclusionary. It’s already very expensive, and the more folks who ski, the more will care about combating the climate change that is ruining our winters. But there’s loving something to death, and that’s what Vail has seen this entire winter season with absurd crowds even on weekdays due to cheap Epic Passes.
- No heartfelt Instagram post from Beth Howard changes that she’s in charge and responsible for these failures. She needs to step up, fight for a living wage for her employees, open terrain swiftly and safely without excuses, and combat the pandemic.