Powder day skier agrees with letter about Breckenridge lift starting times
I am writing in response to Tom Castrigno’s letter to the editor in the Nov. 26 Summit Daily News. I also was there on Monday morning and agree with all of Tom’s points.
I have been skiing Breckenridge for a number of years, and it seems every year, my experience gets shorter and shorter.
Upper lifts open later and close early.
Sure, maybe the early season snowfall caught Vail Resorts with its pants down, but come on. Get up and put on your pants and open the mountain.
How come you can’t open terrain a little earlier? Seems like a no-brainer when you are waiting in a lift line at 8:45 a.m. and the patrollers are drinking coffee, packing down the maze, telling you “sorry,” we’re ready to open, but we can’t? Why not? Policy? Open it.
When I ski at other areas out of state, it sure seems when the mountain opens, it is open, not just the bottom lifts. When Jackson Hole opens, the tram runs for top-to-bottom skiing, even on big snowfalls. It is not staggering its upper lifts until its employees show up to work. I remember a day when Breckenridge lift operators and patrollers had to come in early when it snowed 6 inches or more.
Yes, some terrain takes serious control work – T-bar and Chair 6 – before you can open, but Peak 10?
What is Vail Resorts accomplishing with this tactic? Are you really saving that much money? Saving the snow for the holidays? These are some of the lowest paying jobs in the resort hierarchy. Bus drivers make more than lifties – and the buses are running early. For what? To get us to the mountain so we can wait. Maybe one less executive and his or her bonus would better staff the mountain.
Tom’s right, these late lift openings are only going to be slowing down the opening of the more advanced terrain. Should we expect lunch-time openings of the T-bar?
I also think the safety issue is real, too: people getting pushed over in a mad dash for the first chair when it finally opens. After my first run, I overheard a young lady somewhat crying that she was pushed to the ground and trampled.
This is not to mention the three snowboarders wearing blue Breckenridge uniform coats and a friend who decided it would be cool, since they wear blue coats, to cut the line right before opening to take the first chair in front of the 200-person crowd that had been waiting for quite some time.
I just want to enjoy some quality skiing when it snows, not waiting around for the lifts to open. If the lifts start at 8:30, open the mountain at 8:30, not the bunny hill.
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