Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby Geoff » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:05 am

jamesdeluxe wrote:
Marc_C wrote:why do so many folks get all wrapped around the axles about what the base village looks like?

That's a good question. Wish I had a better answer than "aesthetics matter to me."


North America is a very homogeneous experience compared to Europe. There is nothing in the US with the aesthetics of the nicer European ski villages. Sure, you can find US-like architecture in the French Alps but there are lots of places that have actually been there for centuries and are just as vibrant in the summer as in the winter.

I like skiing in Europe from time to time simply to enjoy that kind of experience that simply doesn't exist in the US.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby rfarren » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:10 pm

Geoff wrote:
jamesdeluxe wrote:
Marc_C wrote:why do so many folks get all wrapped around the axles about what the base village looks like?

That's a good question. Wish I had a better answer than "aesthetics matter to me."


North America is a very homogeneous experience compared to Europe. There is nothing in the US with the aesthetics of the nicer European ski villages. Sure, you can find US-like architecture in the French Alps but there are lots of places that have actually been there for centuries and are just as vibrant in the summer as in the winter.

I like skiing in Europe from time to time simply to enjoy that kind of experience that simply doesn't exist in the US.

That's hip, but the history of America is taking from what existed for Europe for centuries. That is simply because America is new comparatively.

If you want a European experience that's great, and that's why Europe is there. However, the American West is superior as far snow is concerned, and the terrain is equal in many respects. So, if skiing is your main concern then the town's "authenticity" shouldn't matter too much, right?

Also, I think the whole argument of authenticity is dubious. One of the benefits of time is understanding what works and what doesn't. During the 50s the idea of the traditional city was frowned upon by developers, hence many suburbs and cul de sacs. During the last 20 years there has been a glorification of the traditional city, hence a lot of recent development has incorporated elements of traditional walking cities, and or rebuilding of traditional downtowns.

Does it matter when a building was built as much as it's purpose in the modern day? If two buildings are similar architecturally (lets say swiss chalet style), one is 150 years old, the other 20, both hold hotels, both have similar interiors, both are situated walking distance from a lift, does it really matter which one is older? What does authenticity really mean?

Personally, I just think this is all bs... I know that in past I have been an outspoken critic of sprawl (still I do not love it), however, I think it's silly when we speak about resort towns... let's not be naive and pretend that Chamonix is some real town compared to vail...

BTW, I spent my honeymoon in these european ski towns during the off season and they weren't exactly hopping anymore than Beaver Creek in the Summer. So, I think that the towns that are
just as vibrant in the summer as in the winter
aren't exactly as vibrant as some posters would like to believe.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby Geoff » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:43 am

rfarren wrote:BTW, I spent my honeymoon in these european ski towns during the off season and they weren't exactly hopping anymore than Beaver Creek in the Summer. So, I think that the towns that are
just as vibrant in the summer as in the winter
aren't exactly as vibrant as some posters would like to believe.


My frame of reference is the tumbleweeds blowing down the Killington Access Road in July. I'm comparing it to a place with a lot of summer tourism like Grindelwald or Zermatt. A soulless place like Tignes is just as dead in the summer (now that glacier skiing is gone) as a US resort.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby Tony Crocker » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:52 am

Geoff wrote:there are lots of places that have actually been there for centuries and are just as vibrant in the summer as in the winter.

depends upon what the summer vs. winter attractions are. Anyone who has been to Tahoe or Jackson Hole (and from what I hear from our Canadian friends, Banff/Lake Louise) in the summer knows that the age of the resort is a secondary factor at best in determining summer popularity.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby Marc_C » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:52 am

Geoff wrote:My frame of reference is the tumbleweeds blowing down the Killington Access Road in July.

We're discussing villages and towns - not a glorified VT strip mall. Killington in no fashion resembles anything remotely like a town or village.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby rfarren » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:58 am

Tony Crocker wrote:
Geoff wrote:there are lots of places that have actually been there for centuries and are just as vibrant in the summer as in the winter.

depends upon what the summer vs. winter attractions are. Anyone who has been to Tahoe or Jackson Hole (and from what I hear from our Canadian friends, Banff/Lake Louise) in the summer knows that the age of the resort is a secondary factor at best in determining summer popularity.

+1
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby Marc_C » Fri Mar 16, 2012 12:16 pm

rfarren wrote:
Tony Crocker wrote:
Geoff wrote:there are lots of places that have actually been there for centuries and are just as vibrant in the summer as in the winter.

depends upon what the summer vs. winter attractions are. Anyone who has been to Tahoe or Jackson Hole (and from what I hear from our Canadian friends, Banff/Lake Louise) in the summer knows that the age of the resort is a secondary factor at best in determining summer popularity.

+1

Even the maligned Vail has significant summer visitation once the golf courses and mtn biking open up.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby EMSC » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:25 pm

Marc_C wrote:Vail has significant summer visitation once the golf courses and mtn biking open up.


Not to mention Hosting Teva Mtn games, major pro cycling events, etc...
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby SoCal Rider » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:55 pm

rfarren wrote:Who cares, if you want architecture, move to a big city like NYC, Chicago, London, Berlin etc. If you like skiing, and want a base town then Vail is fine. Unless you're an architecture snob does it matter if a building is imitation? Frankly, if I'm skiing and there is a base town, I would prefer that I don't have to drive, and if that means prefab, so be it.


We've done the authenticity round before, so I will leave that part alone. I am a snow quality then terrain guy first and foremost. I spend as little time off my board as I can when I'm at a ski area, at least from 8 to 4. I've skied and visited Vail or Mammoth before and would love to go back to each regularly.

Disliking the looks of a building or development does not make one an architecture snob, not that that was exactly the context of your reference. I am just a fan of (what I find to be) cool-looking neighborhoods and city centers, and I enjoy that aspect of any place I am visiting, whether it's SF or Leadville.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby rfarren » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:31 pm

SoCal Rider wrote:I am just a fan of (what I find to be) cool-looking neighborhoods and city centers, and I enjoy that aspect of any place I am visiting, whether it's SF or Leadville.

I appreciate, as a visitor, Whistler's and Vail's base villages. I can walk around them, so I'm hip to that. It certainly helps when I don't have to drive after boozing up. Dance clubs and shopping helps with the lady, who isn't as passionate about skiing as I.That being said, I go to the mountains for the mountains. I don't think the rest matters too much, and I don't get too hung up on it. I have no unreasonable expectations of soulfulness, or authenticity. Amenities help, but are meaningless without a killer mountains.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby soulskier » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:07 am

Some great discussion here Fellas.
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Re: Ski Area Reality: Corporatocracy Strikes Again

Postby Patrick » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:26 pm

Geoff wrote:My frame of reference is the tumbleweeds blowing down the Killington Access Road in July. I'm comparing it to a place with a lot of summer tourism like Grindelwald or Zermatt. A soulless place like Tignes is just as dead in the summer (now that glacier skiing is gone) as a US resort.

When did that happen (ie. no glacier skiing in Tignes)?
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