It’s December 15th. Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico, a still family-owned ski resort founded in 1955, is often criticized for not selling out to the big guns, being too “old school”, not accommodating for the times. Today, Taos has a 47″ base and the Ridge – an in-bounds portion of the mountain that is only accessible by hiking, and rarely open for the holidays – will likely be open this year. Meanwhile, big, bad Vail Colorado is still showing its spines of dirt and rocks through a thin icy layer of man-made snow and has a measly 19″ base. Families are considering cancelling their ski trips. Professional skiers are proclaiming their longing to get to Taos on Facebook. Every major snow report online is talking about it.
So what is the lesson here? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket? Perception is in the eye of the beholder? La Nina has a funny sense of humor? I think the lesson is simple – as a business owner, it’s easy to get discouraged by the big guys – the Vails – with their fancy advertisements and their seemingly impenetrable clout on Google. But at the end of the day, you can’t predict the weather. If you can maintain the value of your product and the quality of your service year after year, you will eventually get the snow.