Do You Like Waiting in Lines?

Vail Feb 8, 2020

Vail Feb 8, 2020

Brogan Belknap ‘24

The snow flows beneath me as I fly down the mountain feeling the stinging wind on my face. I’m in my element this is where I belong but as suddenly as I started I am cut short by a giant line preventing me to ride up the chairlift and continue skiing. At least a 20-minute wait with masks hanging on people’s necks. There are no restrictions on how many people can ski on the mountain. Our ski resorts are the main attraction for tourists and we must take special care of them. These giant lines are poorly affecting the beautiful wildlife that we love so much. It won’t be easy to restrict the number of people on the mountain and there will be a lot of push back from people that benefit from the increasing number of passes being bought.  I hope we can band together to protect our mountains.

Tens of thousands of people skiing on one mountain with evidently no restrictions on people, as they should do especially during COVID, is wildly overlooked due to the monetary benefit of millions of people skiing every year. These massive crowds of people are hurting our beloved wildlife that is so vital to Colorado’s economy and we stand by and do nothing about it. It is only a matter of time that Vail and other resorts aren’t the natural beauties that they are now. I’m here to bring light to this fact so that something can be done about it and in the hope that our children and grandchildren can experience Colorado as we know it today.

Vail and other large resorts are a vital income to Colorado and without a quota, on the amount people allowed on the mountain at anyone one time, we may lose the beauty that attracts people to go skiing. This may cause us to lose vital jobs maybe even turn in to a spike of the unemployed

Lines Continuing to Grow Every Year

Vaildaily reported on these atrocious lines was on Feb 8, 2020 hundreds of people posted on social media with truly horrifying images and videos. Reporting lines as long as two hours causes huge backups to snake far up the mountain. Hundreds of people are polluting the ski mountain and the wildlife that makes it so beautiful. I was gladly not on the mountain at the time because I could not stand to wait that long in a ski line and probably would have gone home. A couple of my very close friends were on the mountain at the time and described how they were waiting in lines all most all of the day just to get off the mountain.

Covid on the Rise Throughout the Vail Area

All through the summer, there was a very little amount of Covid cases in Vail on around two or three new cases every week. When the ski resort opened the number skyrockets reaching 44 new cases a week at its peak in November. Throughout the whole ski season, there was an average of thirty new cases per week. Nearing the end of the season stuff began to die down proving that Vail did nothing the restrict the number of people on the mountain. According to the nytimes, they had a total of 5,961 cases and 22 deaths and all these numbers are not counting people who came to vail for a trip and got infected with COVID. The virus is bad as it is without Vail allowing tens of thousands to be on the mountain at a time with lines taking as long as thirty minutes.

Living in Harmony with Nature?

In February an injured moose attacked some skiers and snowboarders on the mountain and was caught and killed. A few days earlier, a coyote was aggressive to some skiers so was captured and slaughtered. Our giant presence on the mountain is disturbing the animals that call our ski mountains their homes. Due to our distributing their land so heavily they did what was in their nature to defend by fending off their invaders. Even though this is just them doing what they were made to do we still punish them with the finality of death. We should take responsibility for the consequences of our actions instead of blaming those who are victims of our cruelty. In northwest Colorado, the Division of Wildlife goes to ski areas about six to ten times a year to deal with animals, said spokesman Randy Hampton. Foxes sometimes cause problems at ski areas after people feed them and they start approaching people, Hampton said. That may have been what led the Copper coyote to become aggressive, he said. These incidents are not as uncommon as people try to make them out to be. From a young age, we are taught not to feed animals but we still haven’t learned our lesson so the animals are punished. All of this is according to vaildaily and the only way to help the animals is to lessen our impact our their homes by putting a restriction on how many people ski on the mountain.

How the Vail can Continue to Benefit With Smaller Crowds

Some may say that a restriction on the number of people on the mountain might negatively affect the community because there would be a smaller influx of money. This isn’t a problem however because with fewer spots and passes sold we could bring up the price so that we still get the same amount of money coming in. This may cause some people to not be able to ski but it is for the greater good to save the wildlife and stop the huge spread of COVID on the mountain. Even though the money from skiing is important for jobs and Vail in general, people’s and animal’s lives are more important. Nature is what truly brings people to Vail not just skiing and without slowing the influx of new skiers and snowboarders we may not have this environment to bring people in. So truly ask yourself what is more important the money or the environment itself.

Millions of people ski-in Vail every year causing lines that can take as long as two hours and on an average 20 minutes. We have to restrict the number of people not just for our own experiences but also for nature and the life of humans and animals. Colorado has many large resorts that are very important to our economy and the largest one is Vail but without putting a quota on the number of people allowed on the mountain we may lose the tourists and locals that are vital to these resorts.

I’m calling you to help me save not only Vail’s environment but also the lives of the people and animals that call Vail home. The only way to help them is to work together for the greater good and I hope you can join me.