Crestitude perspective

I had a page 2 opinion piece written about the Irwin kerfuffle for this week. It mentioned two local lightening rods—Bernholtz (who got pummeled in these pages by Norton last week) and Norton (who gets pummeled in these pages this week). It mentioned some good steps being taken by Irwin…having its principal introduce himself to the community and withdrawing its county expansion application to redraw more of a master plan.
And then we received a letter from a regular visitor to Crested Butte. It put that situation in a bit more perspective. Written by a guy with a good name, Farid Naib, he extols the virtues of this place and makes some concrete suggestions about how to improve the experience for visitors with a few little tweaks (see page 6). But the big tweak is losing what some people call the “Crestitude” that sometimes sneaks into this place. Crestitude is the “local’s” vibe of, “If you don’t live here, you suck. And even if you do live here, you suck unless you think the same way as me.” I’ve never been a fan.
We are more than halfway through the winter season. While a bit lean at the start, it is snowing as I write. CBMR finally has all its lifts turning. The days are longer and we are hitting the sweet spot of the ski season. The Mardi Gras Parade threw out a good vibe on tuesday. What’s not to like? Why carry a chip?
I agree with Mr. Naib. There are some easy fixes to make a guest’s experience a little more pleasant. But above all else, check the Crestitude. Everyone who lives here, no matter what side of the political fence, has chosen to live in a beautiful but sometimes rough spot. Everyone here loves the mountains and the little town and the opportunities a village offers.
So spread some of that love. It’s nice to be nice. It feeds on itself. If, as Mr. Naib contends, there are people here who “don’t like tourists,” why choose to live in a tourist town?
Like it or not, it is the on-seasons when the streets get a tad more crowded that allow us residents to live here all four seasons. Those on-seasons have gotten shorter and I know it is harder now for some people to live here. So try to remember that it probably doesn’t take any more energy to be nice to people visiting here as opposed to carrying the Crestitude. We are coming up on spring break. When you feel frustrated after being asked for the 20th time about where we keep the moguls in the summer, or how the deer turn into elk or just which town bus goes into town, think about smiling instead of smirking. It will make everyone feel better.
The bottom line is that if people don’t feel good about coming here, they won’t come here. And that doesn’t help Irwin or CBMR or any of us who are trying to make this mountain village our home. If you need to vent, go off on one of the local lightning rods. They’re probably used to it by now.
Enjoy the fresh snow and remember to make hay while the sun shines. Spring break is just around the corner.

Check Also

Spring blessings….

When you open the Google map on your phone and see that the “fastest route” …