Letter to the editor: Daylight saving change could spell trouble for the ski industry | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Daylight saving change could spell trouble for the ski industry

Alex Beach

Twice a year, we get inundated with articles and opinions about daylight saving time and calls for its abolishment. Usually, these discussions quickly pass, and we move on to the next topic in the never-ending news cycle. This spring, however, the conversation seems to have gained some traction.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill to permanently stay on daylight saving time, meaning the natural fall and winter times would be switched to the artificial spring and summer times with less light in the mornings and more light in the evenings. The Colorado Legislature is debating similar bills to permanently lose an hour of daylight during our winter mornings.

I caution everyone against the knee-jerk reaction of, “Yay, more sun in the evening.” One of Colorado’s main economic drivers is the ski industry. If daylight saving time were to be made permanent, the sun wouldn’t rise in the High Country until close to 8:30 a.m. on the winter solstice.

This will have massive negative impacts for the operation of ski areas. Ski areas such as Keystone, Vail and Copper, which start spinning some lifts at 8:30 a.m., will likely have to push back their start times. And good luck skiing your favorite terrain on a powder day, as ski patrol cannot begin avalanche mitigation in the dark. Under this proposed daylight change, powder days will just become a massive, angry wait for avalanche terrain to open, which often won’t be until late in the afternoon or the next day.

Let your representatives know that we should leave well enough alone and not mess with the natural timing of the sun.

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