The Mount Snow vs. Haystack employment issue is a disaster for economic development in the valley. Many of us devote every day of our lives to growing the valley’s economy by bettering it through our small businesses and marketing it as an attractive place to make a living. You may have to work two or three seasonal part-time jobs to get by, but if you love the quality of life that the valley provides there is no better place to be. Attracting these new people is the only economic chance the valley has to survive.
But how is the valley supposed to attract people if Mount Snow makes it more difficult to make a full-time living? Where does Mount Snow think the part-time employees are going to find other work if they dictate one of their jobs away from them? I know Mount Snow fancies itself as the main economic driver in the valley, but I wonder if they’ve noticed that their 12 weekends’ worth of weather-dependent skiers don’t generate enough revenue for the valley to survive on the other 40 weeks of the year.
I’m not saying it should be the mountain’s role to give the valley everything; we’d all like to see a stronger off-season economy so we don’t have to try to survive solely on the winter season. Additionally, we know by Mount Snow’s own admission in business meetings that they have no interest in helping the valley build a summer economy (other than their own convention business). But just imagine a world in which the valley had a true, year-round economic partner in Mount Snow. How sweet it would be.
All of the valley’s small business owners bend over backwards in the winter to keep their skiers happy, fed and entertained while they are off the mountain. We do this in hopes of enticing them to return to the valley because of its quaint nature and friendly hospitality. In essence, we help Mount Snow keep their skiers coming back time and time again. Does Mount Snow really think that all those skiers would come back to their mountain if the local valley wasn’t as charming as it is? I think Mount Snow would find it difficult to survive solely on its own merits.
And this latest move clearly isn’t meant to help anyone in the valley. It doesn’t improve the living condition of one valley resident. It’s not even clear how it helps Mount Snow.
As a 30-something-year-old resident, these kinds of constant economic obstructions just make for more hurdles to overcome, and we will overcome them.
But I know the sentiment has been growing around the valley for some time now that Mount Snow isn’t treating the valley the way it deserves to be treated. Maybe I’m completely wrong here and Mount Snow’s latest move is somehow an economic positive for the valley. If that’s the case, I’d love to have someone explain how.
Philip Gilpin Jr.