Letter: Vail wasn’t always just about the money
Vail? What does that mean? It meant nothing before 1960. Then, thanks to people many of us still remember, it became a ski area and then also a town. I only got here in 1990. Of course, it was a financial machine from the beginning, but it was more than that. The people at the top and their spirit seemed to matter. It wasn’t just the money.
The people at the top now don’t have any connection with the spirit. When the offices moved to Broomfield, the connection with the spirit that was here from the beginning was damaged, possibly fatally. Was it just so that the CEO could live there because the inconvenience of the Vail location would not allow the growth of the corporation that was envisioned from Wall Street?
I am not sure of all the questions and possible answers, but I am sure that it is not the same place after Broomfield. Look at the steady fall of Vail in ski area ratings. A recent question about staffing and Blue Sky is at the front of issues, but does it really matter anymore? I remember when Blue Sky was proposed, and one of its justifications was supposedly early-season, north-facing skiing, or was that just my imagination?
Never paying workers a living wage? Did it then, and does it still matter that many people will still work for the ski area for almost nothing? I have questions and few answers, but I still love living here. But the spirit from the top of Vail Resorts does not seem to exist anymore.
Am I just fantasizing that it ever existed? I am not the person who could lead this community and/or the company that owns what we call Vail Mountain. Where do we go from here, now? Where does employee housing fit in? Carbon and the environmental issues? It’s all more complicated than in the early 1960s.
I am not questioning the current staff and leader of Vail Mountain and her dedication and feelings about this place. In Broomfield, it’s only about the payments to the shareholders (stock value) and the directors and key employees. Realistically, what can we even expect up here? I have to go shovel snow off the deck now. It’s a beautiful day in Colorado.