Why sue Vail Resorts? What happened to individual responsibility? (letter)
April 24, 2018
To the folks suing Vail resorts (the Conlin child) … why? What happened to the individual?
I am sorry for your loss. There is a risk for things we choose, no matter what age we are. I was a kid in Vail from 1975 to 2005. My dad worked for the ski mountain with Mike Tubbs and Sean Primmer "back in the day."
When I was 8 years old, my dad would ask if I wanted to ski. It was 10:30 at night, and I'd ride a snowmobile with him to Mid Vail and take powder runs at midnight. He would drop me off at the top of Chair 2 or 17, even patrol headquarters, and tell me where he would pick me up. The lights of Vail would light the clouds and the mountain. I was 8.
I was 7 when the gondola disaster happened. I was only allowed to ski Lionshead that day because my dad was working over there. Lots of risk, lots of risk. He never would have sued. Life is full of responsibility. Life should be about freedom. The more freedom, the more personal responsibility we have.
Not only my younger skiing days were a risk, but most of my life is a risk. People in Vail who knew me didn't think I'd make it past 25 years. You can ask Robert (Bobby) Knox, Benno Schiedigger, etc. Like I said, I am so sorry for your loss.
However, Vail Resorts is not a babysitter. You can cut that rope anywhere on the ridgeline. It is not the employees of Vail Resorts or Vail Resorts that are responsible for kids making the decision where to ski. If your kids are this irresponsible, why were you not skiing with them that day? Where is your responsibility to teach your kids to follow the rules? Every time I was skiing (younger than your son) and was allowed to choose where I wanted to ski, it was my responsibility.
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I did lots of stupid kid things. And when I did, my dad didn't blame everyone else. He blamed me. He gave me the responsibility (i.e. freedom). I had my pass pulled a few times, by my dad. It was his responsibility to teach me responsibility.
And you are probably mocking me now. But we used to cut ropes at far-east shelter to ski China Bowl, Teacup, etc. (There were no lifts, we had to walk out to Chair 5). And even as a kid as young as your son, I knew that my dad would have held me responsible and not the ski company. They are a business, not a daycare center.
If your child needs supervision, then you should have been there to guide him. If not, do not let your 13-year-old ski by himself because you have not taught him enough responsibility to be free. And if you feel you have taught him enough responsibility to be free, then it is his rebellious choice.
Life is full of danger, and if you feel somebody owes you something because of your failure, then freedom is lost because then we can blame everybody else for our failures and expect to be compensated from someone else. And if this is the case, please stay in Colorado (or California, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, etc.). Leave the rest of us alone to live responsible and free.
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