In a world of $150 lift tickets and ski-up valet parking, I find temporary solace in my homemade PB&J—it’s simple, effective, and even tricks me into thinking I’m not spending my life savings on a day pass. So when an attendant at a resort’s mid-mountain lodge told me my lunchtime masterpiece wasn’t welcome on premises, I was a bit—how should I put this—pissed. The Lunch Enforcer at Crystal Mountain, Washington, continued tickling rage receptors by informing me that not only was my bagged lunch not welcome at the mid-mountain hut, but also not on the top two floors of the base lodge, at least from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., when lunch hours are enforced. Graciously, the mountain would, however, let me eat my meal in a basement locker room. A brown bagger for life, I had become a ski area outcast, my scarlet letter written in gooey raspberry jelly.
The commentary is siding with the author of this article and Crystal Mountain is present in the conversation. A few of the commenters however do take Crystal Mountain’s side or at least understand why Crystal Mountain has this policy in place and make an effort to provide that reasoning to the conversation participants.
Brown Bag Lunch — A Similar Rule
Let us say you are done with your ski day, you return to the lodge, get out of your ski (or snowboard) gear and head to the barroom, which is small especially for the crowd on hand at the moment. You order your beer and then look for a place to sit down and enjoy your CRT (carbohydrate replacement therapy) with your friends. Not a seat open in the joint.
Now as you scan for an open table, barstool, or an imminent opening you survey the following:
- A mother and three young children, none having an alcoholic beverage
- A table loaded up with jackets, hats, goggles, and a young child with no drinks and who appears to be waiting around.
- A few other tables with no one having any products purchased from the bar.
Oh yeah, one more assumption here, assume you can not take that beer outside of the barrom and assume it is very cold and windy outside. Now the article you write is one of indignation on how people who are not patronizing the bar for its core mission are taking up barroom space at your expense. I have been in that situation, looking for a place to sit down and have my beer, that lodge used to enforce the policy that only people purchasing alcoholic drinks were entitled to use the barroom, but now they do not. Not naming names, but the key to making it easier for folks to sit elsewhere is to get some TVs placed around the lodge in locations other than the barroom.
People are paying Crystal Mountain for that lunch and they get prime consideration over the use of their scarce dining facilities. If they had acres of open cafeteria space we all know they would have no such policy.
Brown Bag Lunch — I Prefer the Brown Bag Lunch
I started seriously a bring brown bag lunch when skiing last year and much more so this year. Not only does it save money, but is way better for my health and my skiing. I make up two hardroll sandwiches (ham, salami, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles, oregano, vinegar & oil, mayo, and mustard) throw in some fruit (typically two-three tangerines), yogurt, and water and I am ready to ski hard for another four or five hours. In fact, last weekend I was lazy and bought cafeteria food instead of packing a brown bag lunch and what an effin’ disaster that was, both in terms of taste and fuel for my legs.
Brown Bag Lunch — In The Truck FTW!
I will eat my brown bag lunch in my truck (bonus — I have exclusive control over the audio-programming FTW!), in the barroom, in the mid-mountain lodge, in the main lodge, or wherever I am permitted, and it suits me. I could not care less about such rules, and not being able to eat my lunch with those poor fools who overpay and get a pinkslimeburgers, with cold rancid fries, and a coke (all I wanted was a Pepsi!) is NOT making it on to my worry-list.
The resorts are not going to back down from these rules. What would you do? Offer your facilities to those putting money into your tills or those who are not?