Sunday, September 23, 2018
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Lose the monkey; bring on the light

A guy I used to work with would say his two favorite days were when he got his snowmobile permit and when he picked up his ski pass. Those days are here again. Welcome to winter and the reason most of us moved here and continue to stay in the valley.
With a bountiful holiday ski season opening, there is no shortage of things for which to be grateful. Snow is number one right now and the forecast looks pretty good. Early season thanks goes out to Ullr.
Just before I left town for a quick vacation last week, someone told me they had been in Aspen and their friendly waitress had chatted about a move she had made to Crested Butte earlier this year. “Everyone said Crested Butte was the way Aspen used to be, but it was so negative over in Crested Butte I had to move back to the light in Aspen,” she apparently said.
Wow.
I think most of us pride ourselves on being a bit more laid back, less harried and more positive than those who live in our sister city over the hill. But, looking back one year ago, there certainly was no shortage of darkness. It was 52 weeks ago that the decision rejecting Snodgrass as a place to expand lift-served skiing first came out and people on both sides exploded, scattering negative shrapnel throughout the upper valley for months. So I can see where that waitress might have been coming from. Hopefully those days are now behind us.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort actually seems to have accepted its new fate and is looking at other options. A Plan B is hopefully being formulated. While I haven’t seen a lot of movement from the resort in gathering community input on a new Snodgrass plan (yet), I think most people believe the old matrix is no longer on the table.
CBMR’s chief operating officer Ken Stone said as much at a gathering of business leaders last week. “Last year at this time we were faced with the Forest Service [and its rejection of the Snodgrass proposal]. We spent millions of dollars on that effort. We don’t have that monkey on our back this year, and that’s a great thing. There’s a feeling, a new energy and momentum going into the season I haven’t felt before. I think our company is in a much better place, and our community at large is at a great place,” Stone concluded.
Amen, brother.

Anyway… It seems in a ski town, the calendar year is less important than the resort year. And so we are about to embark on a new year. Let’s make it a year of hope and optimism where we all hope that this season will be busier than last in terms of business, and optimistic that we will receive twice the snow as last year and open Third Bowl for Christmas.
Let’s try to consciously throw a bit more positivity out there than we as a community did at this time last year. I’ll take my share of the blame and grab a share in the responsibility and try to move more toward the light. Let’s enjoy a new ski season. Let’s see what changes come to the mountain and ultimately, see who is coming to experience those changes.
It is our annual chance for a new start and like every year, we can choose what attitude we start with. Hey, smile and go pick up your ski pass or snowmobile registration permit. Then get out there and use them. Let’s ride the new energy Stone is talking about.
Let’s enjoy this new season without a monkey on our collective back.
Have a great Thanksgiving everyone. It’s a new season and we live in a ski town. What’s not to be positive about?

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