Thursday, November 27, 2008

December 1, 2008-The In-Between Time

Consider This for December 1, 2008—The In-between Time

Anticipation. That word always reminds me of the old Carly Simon song, “Anticipation” that eventually became the sales anthem for Heinz Catsup playing while the slow pouring catsup would finally hit the burger on the bun. Slow is better. Just ask any woman or catsup company. If the catsup pours too fast it is of a lesser quality than the thick, heavy slow kind.

Anticipation also describes this time of the year in Summit County. We are all living in anticipation that it will finally snow big time. We are all waiting for the deluge of thousands of guests coming with pockets full of money.

Summit County really does not have a fall season. We go from summer to Indian summer to winter. Even the few days that the Aspen are turning is not a real fall like they have back east or even in the Midwest.

It might even be described as the time when you put your golf clubs and bike away and get out the snowboard, skis and cross country gear. Although that is no longer true because I see intrepid mud and ice covered bicyclist rolling down Highway 9 just about every day of the year. Don’t see that with skiers if you don’t count the people roller blading with those long skis like things strapped to their feet. But again they are not doing that on the highway or if they do it only lasts until the first dump truck goes by and blows you off the road.

Small businesses have spent all of their reserve funds to buy enough stock to make it until the middle of April of next year. The owners have stopped watching the news because it is all bad news. We want good news. We want to know that the economy is finally rebounding and that the 2008-2009 ski season will be the best ever.

The Summit Foundation has a motto of being “The Soul of the Summit.” I am going to coin a new one, “The Spirit of the Summit.”

The spirit of the Summit is a willingness to take risks either on the mountain or in your personal life. It is taking all of your assets and putting them into a business and risking it all just to own a piece of this place. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. If you win then you did the right thing. If you lose you move on to another endeavor. I have seen it over and over again in the more than thirty years I have lived in this place.

It is almost the same as the pioneer spirit that brought the miners here to look for gold or the trappers here to trap beavers. It is that itch inside your head that can’t be scratched.

In this terrible global economy I think that we are going to have a good season overall. Yes, real estate will be down as well as some property management functions. But we should have a lot of people driving to Summit County from the front range for the day or for a weekend. These people will still ski and still shop and go out to eat and enjoy our local culture as much as they ever have.

I am not saying that it will be a growth year but I am saying that it should be at least flat and maybe even up in some sectors.

Last week I went for a two hour hike up the Ten Mile Range with my son’s dog and another unnamed dog that belonged to a friend of my son.

Even as far back into the woods that I had walked I could still feel the anticipation. I could sense how the entire county was holding its collective breath as we go into the uncertainty of this coming season.

As I came down off the mountain I felt some reassurance that this year will be a good year and that most of the hopes and dreams of our community will be realized. It might not be what we planned a year ago and I will guarantee that it will be different but things will go well. It always does. It always snows and life does go on regardless.

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