A year ago, we began working on a plan to be able to put this ski season together under these COVID guidelines. We discussed everything under the sun, in conjunction with numerous agencies and resort operators. Collectively the Colorado Resorts agreed to a plan with the Governor on how to open effectively and safely. It all seemed reasonable, but one of the criteria for opening has without a doubt become the most difficult to manage, not only here but across the nation. Wearing a facial covering in the lift lines has been and continues to be the hardest action to control. When one enters a building, everyone knows that it is “mask time.” It is enforced almost everywhere you go. Yet lift lines, where we are physically distanced and outdoors, is a constant bugaboo for a portion of our guests. I have heard countless stories from my peers during our weekly meetings about how this one issue has completely subsumed their daily operations. It is every resort’s largest headache. It is ours too.
Think of it. What if your boss told you that your job is to ensure that everyone that enters your maze must have a facial covering worn in the appropriate way in order for you to allow them to load onto a chair. Do it or we’ll have to shut down. (I would venture to guess that even those of us who have no issue with this protocol have entered the maze having forgotten to raise our masks.) You are to point that out to all of us. Day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, thousands upon thousands of times a day, a week, a month. I’m stunned that any of them still work for us.
So I say this: kudos to our Lifties for withstanding this onslaught of negativity. Each morning on the way to work I know they are bracing themselves for more mask policing nightmares. It isn’t what they thought they signed up for. Heck, it’s a ski resort where people have fun and laugh and smile at each other. They were put squarely in the crosshairs of this issue by the state and health protocols, and, frankly, they have handled it with extraordinary grace. Without their persistence to this matter, none of us would be skiing this season.
Don’t be annoyed by them, hug them. Virtually, that is.