To The Editor:

Citing sharp gradual declines in the number of young and beginning skiers, the board of directors of Fail Resorts has decided to close all of its handle tows, magic carpets and day care facilities and return those parts of their leased land back to the U.S. Forest Service.

Laura Deboom, Fail’s general manager, said, “Now that we don’t have to run those kiddo lifts, we can save a ton on electricity, groomers and snowmaking and really enhance the terrain and amenities for our expert skiers. We have to accept that there has been a big demographic change. The population is getting older and fewer and fewer new skiers are coming to our mountains. By redesigning our underused capacity, we can offset a bit of the cost of putting Snowbird-style trams to the top of all of our remaining trails and water parks at every resort. Maybe we’ll even add adult STEM and foreign language centers in our former nurseries and have bingo nights and adult swims to bring in some more revenue.”

A vocal majority of local activists have spoken out against what they call Fail’s “Kafka-esque logic.” Local message boards have been ablaze with lamentations about the loss of lift attendant jobs and the associated negative impact on ski area towns. In response, Fail vice chair Rush Intuit said, “I just don’t think the board should have to worry about property values or the impact on local economies. We run ski areas.”

Various town select boards have urged Fail’s board to think creatively and instead build the future generations of lifelong skiers. “Just look at what programs like 12 and Under Ski Free and Skiing for Scholars have done for Mad River Glen’s skier days,” wrote Stu Early, chairman of the Mountain Operations Union.

“We have to do what’s best for our skiers today. We don’t need facts as we’ve made up our minds long before we even started considering this process,” said Vail pass director Viola Fuss, “That’s why we sold our mountain to Fail Resorts in the first place. It’s time to get on with it.”

Citing the terms of several ski area merger agreements, Fail’s board will rubberstamp their decision on November 13 and enact the closures after the end of the 2020-2021 ski season.

Leigh Michl

Fayston, Vermont