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Vail - Triumph of a Dream - Page 2

post #31 of 52
Is there now a high end pot selling establishment at Vail? Maybe a hookah bar, vaping station? Store selling fashionable fire retardent fabrics? All those smancy breathable things tend to melt and get little holes in them. Doesn't look good.
With all the vertical integration you'd think they'd have their own strain of plant by now. With minicoopers, Prius's, and Teslas delivering.
post #32 of 52
Say what you will about their pricing and management but I hope the day never comes that I'm too pretentiously core to abide folks enjoying Vail.
post #33 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters View Post
 

Vail was the second place I ever skied in the mountains - in 1968.  I was awed by the vastness of the mountain and the lifts that seemed to go everywhere.  I loved it then and even though I almost never ski there anymore, I think it's world-class at providing the ski experience its target market is looking for.  Arguably, no one does it better.

 

Vail was the first place I ever skied in the mountains - in 1968.

 

I had just moved to Boulder from Minnesota to start college at CU and Vail was the first place I skied that fall.  I too was awed by the place.

 

I haven't been back to ski any of the I-70 corridor areas in over 15 years since moving down here because of the crowds and traffic up there, but I still have great memories of those days and places.

post #34 of 52

Adolf wants to get first tracks in the back bowls;

 

Groomers can be fun when the snow is soft.

post #35 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttinski View Post
 

Adolf wants to get first tracks in the back bowls;

 

Groomers can be fun when the snow is soft.

 

Hilarious :rotflmao:

post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by bamaman View Post
 

 

Hilarious :rotflmao:

I don't even know what he is so excited about.  They look pretty tame;

 

post #37 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttinski View Post
 

Adolf wants to get first tracks in the back bowls;

 

Groomers can be fun when the snow is soft.

Absolutely too funny!

post #38 of 52

I heard Sun Valley was a dirtbag core skiers dream where duct tape rules and they'll hook you up with a season pass in exchange for a quarter of green or some orgainic macrame that you put together.

post #39 of 52
Thread Starter 
 
Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

I love Vail on a powder day.  I just hate the lift lines and parking, so I don't go any more.

 

I only made it to Vail once last season, but lived in Summit County a few years ago and skied there a bit then. To my experience if you go on Saturdays or peak holidays the lines can be bad, but that's the case in a lot of places, and a good reason to ski somewhere else, or maybe do some cross country skiing. Otherwise not so bad. It definitely helps if you're skiing with someone who knows the mountain and how to get around, no doubt about that.

 

And there are places to park for free ... but that is knowledge not to be divulged in a forum discussion.   ;-)

 

Originally Posted by tball View Post
 

Finally... also in the context of the OP, I can't help but to be sadly reminded of the loss of the Seiberts son/grandson in an avalanche in Vail's sidecountry earlier this year.  RIP Tony Seibert.  Doing the math, he was just 10 when that book was published.  I hope Vail can find a way to expand onto the terrain that killed him so it can be controlled.    

 

Here are a couple tribute videos made by his friends with some great skiing:

 

Great videos! Ripping, fluid skier! Kinda reminds me of someone. Hmm...

 

Interestingly I just watched McConkey on Netflix the past couple nights, (so good I watched it a second time with my girlfriend), and at about 18:30 in there's a section with footage of Shane's time at Vail. If I'm not mistaken some of the shots are of him popping moves off the cliff that's about halfway up and right under the Mountain Top Express Lift - aka Chair 4 - aka (I think) "Hollywood Chair".

 

The film intimates he got bored and left Vail for Squaw, but then he was after all Shane F'N McConkey! I suspect if like most skiers you fall somewhere in between beginner and expert Vail will provide a very satisfying ski experience.

post #40 of 52
I always take the bait when Vail gets flogged and profess my love for the area. I am Pa. based and Vail back in 1980 was my first trip west. So for us flat landers Vail is-was a big deal.

Yes Vail has tons of blue groomed cursing terrain. But Vail also has tons of great bump runs and a lot of very nice groomed long Black Runs. the Back Bowls can provide spectacular powder skiing .

But what do I know, but when I am there alone I am going up the lift with people that have traveled from all over the world to ski there. I will concede that Colorado offers tougher skiing than what even Vail's steeps represent . At Mid Mountain you can spend $50 for lunch in the 10th Mtn. Or like me brown bag it across the way in Sarge's .

Lots of options

I'm heading out to Vail later this month and starting to get excited about it too. Too bad apparently that I don't know any better.
post #41 of 52
Thread Starter 
 
Originally Posted by segbrown View Post
 

Growing up, I used to love Vail, but not so much anymore; as a day skier, it's become a huge PITA. When they tore down Crossroads, I don't know, that did it for me. Kind of weird, but that bugged me. I think a lot of people don't like all Vail's "vertical integration" and I too find it a little disconcerting, but they certainly do things well. I have definitely had some memorable days there, though. 

 

That part of the story I wasn't familiar with. Girlfriend found this article which fills in some blanks...

 

http://www.westword.com/2006-05-04/news/vail-at-the-crossroads

post #42 of 52
Thread Starter 

Everyone should have it this bad...

 

 

 

Anyone who's heading out there enjoy - looks pretty good! 

post #43 of 52
Anyone who is too core for Vail is out of their minds. It may not offer much in terms of extreme skiing, and I can understand not liking all the long runouts however the sheer size of the place and the variety of lift served skiing is immense. If you like to rip prefect groomers from bottom to top you can spend all day doing it, if you like to huck cliffs or cornices (though not enormous ones) you've got multiple options, if you like trees yesterday 3 days after a storm my wife and I found bottomless pow/cream cheese in Aspen and Evergreen glades, and then of course there are the wide open bowls which are amazing on a powder day. Yes they may charge more for parking, but I can pay a lot of parking bills because I'm only paying 500 for a pass like the epic local which gives me access to 5 ski areas locally, and more in Utah and Tahoe. An annual pass to the Timberline ski area in WV was over $400, which though special in its own way isn't even in the same league as the least of the Colorado ski resorts. Plenty of individual Utah resorts have passes starting over $1000, and when I was looking into moving to the PNW every individual area's pass was more than the entire epic local pass. The only major complaint I have about the Vail resorts I've skied is they are often crowded, which is an indication that they offer an excellent product, at a relatively reasonable price. So if you don't think Vail is steep enough for you, fine, if you don't like the long runouts, fine, if you find the sheer immensity and diversity of the place overwhelming and prefer a place with a couple of lifts and a few runs to choose from fine. If your problem is with American business and the fact that they've created a winning business model just say so. But I say God bless Vail for conveniently delivering the goods at affordable prices and God bless Pete Siebert for creating it.
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2PTOG View Post

Anyone who is too core for Vail is out of their minds. It may not offer much in terms of extreme skiing, and I can understand not liking all the long runouts however the sheer size of the place and the variety of lift served skiing is immense. If you like to rip prefect groomers from bottom to top you can spend all day doing it, if you like to huck cliffs or cornices (though not enormous ones) you've got multiple options, if you like trees yesterday 3 days after a storm my wife and I found bottomless pow/cream cheese in Aspen and Evergreen glades, and then of course there are the wide open bowls which are amazing on a powder day. Yes they may charge more for parking, but I can pay a lot of parking bills because I'm only paying 500 for a pass like the epic local which gives me access to 5 ski areas locally, and more in Utah and Tahoe. An annual pass to the Timberline ski area in WV was over $400, which though special in its own way isn't even in the same league as the least of the Colorado ski resorts. Plenty of individual Utah resorts have passes starting over $1000, and when I was looking into moving to the PNW every individual area's pass was more than the entire epic local pass. The only major complaint I have about the Vail resorts I've skied is they are often crowded, which is an indication that they offer an excellent product, at a relatively reasonable price. So if you don't think Vail is steep enough for you, fine, if you don't like the long runouts, fine, if you find the sheer immensity and diversity of the place overwhelming and prefer a place with a couple of lifts and a few runs to choose from fine. If your problem is with American business and the fact that they've created a winning business model just say so. But I say God bless Vail for conveniently delivering the goods at affordable prices and God bless Pete Siebert for creating it.

I agree ....the more people at Vail Resorts the better imo. God bless them.
post #45 of 52

If you ask why I personally don't go to Vail much: parking is a pain, I don't know my way around, and there are way too many cat tracks. But if you ask me why someone, especially an intermediate, wouldn't want to ski Vail, particularly on a vacation where you can take a shuttle and ski mid week - I got nuthin. It's easy to look down on intermediates and sprain our shoulders slapping ourselves on the backs for having made the excellent choice of living near ski heaven and learned to ski real darn well. It's easy to get used to the grandeur of any of these Colorado ski areas and forget the wonder of that first ski trip at a big, non-east-coast resort.

post #46 of 52

The first time I went skiing in Vail there were 5 lifts (Golden Peak, Gondola to mid-Vail, two chairs out of mid-Vail and the back bowls chair) and a handful of pseudo-Tyrolian buildings at the base.  At that point, the core skiers dissed it because it was not a real town like Aspen, the bowls faced the wrong way, the terrain above mid-Vail was too tame, etc.  This was before I70 and the tunnel were built, so it had the look of a loser because it was too far to drive from Denver and you had two passes to negotiate on windy two lane roads to get there.

 

Lots has changed and people still dis the place mostly because it's run like a business and they dare to make money.  Still not core enough for a lot of folks. I've skied there a ton over the years and always had a great time, but I'm not too fussy about my skiing.  Hill + snow and I'm happy.  More of both is better but not essential.  I haven't been there in 7 or 8 years and am headed there in late January for a few days of skiing and a meet up with friends young and old.  I've skied there with some of the best people I've ever known.  Skied there with my best college friends (one of whom turned out to be my wife) then and now.  Skied there on my honeymoon.  Skied there with my kids when they were in grade school up through their college years.  I've been there for races, ski tests, meetings, ski industry events, and weddings.   So I clearly have a big soft spot for the place.  Can't wait to get back. 

post #47 of 52

Here's the follow up.  4 days in Vail last week.  No pictures.  You know what it looks like.  Rather quiet in spite of being MLK day on Monday.  Mix of weather.  More snow and clouds than advertised.  Bluebird day on Thursday.  Considered cold by folks around there but felt pretty nice after sub zero skiing in Vermont of late.  More neck gaiters and balaclavas that I'm used to in VT.  Clicked into my bindings next to Mikaela Shiffrin on at the top of the gondola on my first run on Monday.  Most of the tourists didn't know anything about the upcoming World Championships.

The product on the hill, lift system, grooming, terrain access is amazing.  Tracking your travels via their app is entertaining.  Never waited in a line.  Heavy traffic in a few congested areas (like the funnel leading into the Game Creek lift) was a bit unnerving when unskilled skiers tried to negotiate the clogs too fast for their ability (nothing new).  I really enjoyed being able to open up the throttle on some of the more wide open places on pistes and in the bowls and to ski long non-stop runs.  Skied a lot of chunked up, bumped up snow in the bowls.  The snow stayed soft enough that it was more enjoyable than usual since you could blast through most stuff without getting your skis knocked around.   

Lots of skiers from Latin America.  Very few real good skiers.   I'm guessing that the locals were laying low since there wasn't much in the way of new snow except for one morning when we had about 6-8". 

I miss the small independently run on hill restaurants like the ones in Europe. The high priced cafeteria lines, food factory atmosphere, and picnic tables doesn't come close to the lunchtime experience that the Euros just nail.   Everything about lunch/break time feels much more rushed.  But if you're paying Vail lift ticket rates, I guess you need to hurry back out to amortize your cost per run.   

All in all a great short ski trip.  Plenty of skiing variety so it doesn't get repetitive in 4 days.  Yes, it has a corporate feel to it, but everyone that I saw from the greenest tourist to the most grizzled, baggy-panted local seems to be having a great time.  I won't hurry back, but I will make sure I get back there at some point in the next few years.

 

I get grossed out by the rampant over-building of oversized condos and homes on every scrap of land in the valley.  I cringe at the amount of space that has to be heated, powered, watered, and maintained that's only occupied a few days out of the year.  A lot of precious resources are used up for the benefit of very few people for a very short time.  If you claim to love the mountains, it's sure an odd way to show it.  Why so little solar in evidence is sunny Colorado?  I see way more of it in dark and dreary wintertime Vermont.

 

On another subject, I'm very psyched to watch the world championships.  They will put on great races with superb courses that will produce true champions.


Edited by choucas - 2/2/15 at 7:28am
post #48 of 52
Look forward to visiting Vail and the adjacent areas on I-70 this year...
post #49 of 52

A bit of an older thread, but to circle the whole way back around, the rental townhouse I stayed in a month ago in Vail happened to have the book that started this thread out on the coffee table, so I got to read a bit of it. Really cool book, and some fascinating stories.

 

The story of the Lionshead gondola disaster is most memorable - I had no idea it had ever occurred. But some of the founding stories and how the place came about were neat too. Definitely seemed worth a look if you're interested in the resort.

post #50 of 52
Thread Starter 

Yup, at first glance this book seems like just another glitzy coffee-table thing, but it's a lot more than that.

 

Glad you enjoyed it as much as I did.   ;-)

post #51 of 52
Everytime i see a thread about Vail and the haters come out I get 3 thoughts: 1) most opinions are so far from my experience that I wonder if they really ever skied there, 2) most skiers at other resorts are not skiing the terrain Vail gets slammed for not having, and 3) you want to see over-priced and crowded, go to SnowShoe Resort in WV!
post #52 of 52
I am fortunate and get to ski there multiple trips per year , and feel super fortunate I am able to get there and enjoy a great ski area. I just got back from a week there last Saturday, and I hadn't really thought about it in recent trips but It is unbelievable the level of real estate development that exists in Vail Village.

In saying this I am sure this is the very reason Vail's detractors don't like the place. But what ski area can compare with the commercial success of this resort? It is truly remarkable what has been built there. So at the end of the day, if Vail isn't "core enough" for the hard chargers out there, they are getting by very well in your absence.

For me, I love the long groomed runs on the front, and when it snows the back side bowls are a super powder experience. The Epic Pass makes skiing there pretty reasonable. I'm lucky my friend has a condo there so I am not spending money on lodging.

To each his own, but I believe if you want challenging terrain it exists at Vail too. Maybe not at the same acreage as the long groomers represent but it is still there.
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