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Ski/Ride Resort Tailgating: Not Just Before the Game, It May Be the Game
Tailgating at ski/ride resorts has never been popular. That’s probably true because it’s winter. But it’s also true to some degree because ski/ride resorts have done a superlative job with their predominantly lodge based beverage and food offerings. In fact, beverage and food offerings at ski/ride resorts at times has risen to a level of importance that it shouldn’t have. I remember back in the 1980s when some ski/ride resorts were touting their beverage and food options like they were the reason to go there. I remember quietly reminding them that snow quality and quantity, grooming to perfection, and lifts that are both high capacity and high speed are what matter most. I recall suggesting to one ski/ride resort, that stayed focused on the three things that matter most, that perhaps an advertising slogan like “you can bring your own beverages and food but you can’t bring your own snow” was in order. I don’t believe they ever used it, but it does drive home the point. Anyway, lately skiers and riders have had more reasons to tailgate, at least early and late season when weather conditions make it tolerable. Those reasons include issues like ski/ride resort lodges that can be uncomfortably crowded and beverage and food prices that are more consistent with what one might expect in Manhattan. A ski/ride resort colleague once asked me why anybody would pay $15.00 for an unadorned cheeseburger. The answer, of course, is simple. It’s because where most ski/ride resort guests come from, places like Manhattan, they cost at least that and often a lot more. Anyway, another prime reason for avoiding ski/ride resort lodges is because they’re Soft Targets and Crowded Places (ST-CP) which are highly vulnerable to attack, like a mass shooting. And now the COVID-19 pandemic is another huge reason for skiers and riders to tailgate. In fact, those with a season pass could become “walk on walk off” guests meaning their vehicle is their base lodge and they forgo all the other ski/ride resort amenities. Except for possible restroom use, it’s doable. If such a thing were to become popular it would be a huge blow to the bottom lines of most ski/ride resorts that have become adept at picking the pockets of their guests in a dozen or more ways.