As Summit County prepares for the upcoming ski season, I wanted to share my experience at Arapahoe Basin from last spring. Let me start by saying I have been a snowboard instructor in Summit County for 8 years, and absolutely love it. Recently, I decided it would be a good idea to improve my skiing ability for my career. On a slow weekday, I was testing my skills in the Montezuma bowl, and came across a tough traverse. Stepping out of the way for accomplished skiers as they flew towards me (muttering “go home” and other unpleasant things), I finally made it over to where I wanted to be. Nothing but fresh spring powder ahead! Unfortunately my powder skiing needs work, and I flew out of my skis landing face first in a very pokey bush. As I attempted to get out of the hole, someone flew by, and yelled “You gotta get outta the way bro!” His edges were about two feet from my face.
Now I have seen how poorly we can sometimes treat our less experienced guests, but I had never really witnessed it from their perspective. Even though I had done nothing wrong but fall, the locals around me put me down instead of asking if I was alright or needed any assistance. How did I know they were locals? The “Go home” comments gave it away, or my personal favorite, “Go back to Denver!” It was embarrassing. Had I been from out of town, I would have been sure to bring my business elsewhere in the future.
The message I am trying to convey is that we treat our visitors with respect. Ask them if they need assistance instead of putting them down. Keep them coming back to enjoy Summit County year after year!