Vail missed chance to connect with community at Gunbarrel 25 (Opinion)

JP (John) Peters
Guest column

It may seem silly for our community to care so much about a once-per-year mogul race, but for many of us, it is the only local event that highlights and celebrates what we love to do: ski moguls like maniacs.

Many of my friends have their names on that Gunbarrel 25 trophy in Heavenly’s California Lodge, and many who do not have their names there, including me, have had dreams about being up there with them.

Vail Resorts has received a lot of bad publicity this year, much of which is centered around being out of touch with local communities. In theory, the Gunbarrel race could have been a nice way for Vail to connect to the local community, at not much cost or effort.

The way it actually turned out, it seemed like the people running it were just going through the motions; they didn’t seem to care at all about the details of the race.

For the first time in the history of the race, they couldn’t supply participants with their number of laps or time at the post-event ceremony. That has created a lot of controversy and hurt feelings, from what I have observed. When participants do not have any idea how they did relative to others, egos come into play, and some people are pretty spun-up about it.

I suspect that the employees at Vail are probably overworked and understaffed. I bet there are many local companies that would love to sponsor the race, so I am hopeful that maybe Vail will be open to outside sponsorship next year, so they can get help from people that actually care about the details and the tradition of the race.

Reporting on the race and holding it may be a pain, but this is exactly the sort of thing that adds a unique and local flair to being here.

JP (John) Peters is a South Lake Tahoe resident and self-proclaimed facerat and mogul maniac that has competed six times in the Gunbarrel 25.

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