It’s ultimately about the fun

It might not have been the most typical of opening weekends for a ski resort. But then again, with global weirding, it may be the new norm.
One friend was playing golf this past Monday. Another was riding his bike at Hartman Rocks on Sunday. CBMR opened the previous Wednesday.
It is too early to freak out over the weather but there really is a Rando race scheduled for Irwin in a week-and-a-half and people really are converging here this week to get a taste of the renowned Crested Butte slopes. I don’t think they’ll be eating up the Headwall but cheers to the first groups of the season coming to find some unique fun in Crested Butte.
Once again, opening week reminded us that we are essentially snow farmers. Reliant on the whims of weather, we can prosper if the weather brings us the snow and struggle if the high pressure sets up over the Butte. But if I recall correctly, in one of the biggest winters ever, we were skiing on ribbons of white three years ago until about December 7 when it snowed four days straight and left six feet of white on the slopes. That was a sweet season.
Admittedly, opening weekend 2011 was a pretty fun experience with just two main lifts open. Kudos to the employees of the ski area for having good snow to slide on and ordering up late season sunny conditions.
Now, being a snow farmer doesn’t guarantee success even with six feet of fresh. It’s what you do with it that counts. Go with the fun, the weird, the different. Embrace the attributes we have and don’t try to go head to head with the big dogs like Aspen or Vail.
And remember that we are all in this together. How you treat those who choose to come here will make a difference. Don’t put on the fake smile but you might as well enjoy your job and try to make them smile. The Dali Lama swears that makes it all easier.

So… as we start a new winter season, I’d advise my friends in the Axtel Building to go to fewer meetings between now and April and stand in line more at the High Lift. I’d ask them to remember that the attraction here isn’t just snow and it certainly isn’t spreadsheets outlining Wednesday skier-day demographics. People come here if they believe they, their friends and their family will have fun. It’s all about the experience. In order to share the experience, you have to experience the experience.
I’d ask Huck and Buck, Houck and Hap, the three mayors and a commissioner in the valley, to read Norton’s Notions this week and consider looking at the airport in a new way.
I’d request those in charge around here look at one quote from the news stories about American Airlines (one of our main air suppliers) filing for bankruptcy Tuesday. Nothing is expected to change in terms of this year’s service but the company’s incoming chief executive, Tom Horton, said Tuesday, “The world changed around us.” Amen.
Given a quickly changing world, I’d again urge Ethan (CBMR’s general manager) to hold a public listening tour in the valley. The world as we knew it is different. Let the people throw ideas at you. If you don’t want to do it in a structured public forum, hit the chairlifts, bar stools and holiday pageants and open up the ski company to criticism and open-minded, different, quirky ideas.

In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoyed sunny and 45 while it was here after Thanksgiving. The phone forecast for the next 10 days looks like a tad more normal, with some sun along with a bit of snow and more seasonal temperatures in the 20s and 30s.
The fact is, it is winter. The ski season has begun whether the weather says so or not. Be where you are and enjoy another great season in Crested Butte.
And don’t forget… it’s ultimately about the fun. That’s our product. After all, that’s why most of you came here.

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