- Oct 22, 2007
I have heard in the past that Black’s owner was kind of an ass but I never experienced it first hand.
I did a few weeks ago. Posted this on Snowjournal the other day after somebody posted a picture of the owner....
Seeing his face in that picture turns my stomach a bit. The last time a saw it, he was standing over one of his female guests, hands on his knees, getting in her face. Can still see it in my mind like it was yesterday. Worst guest interaction I've seen in thousands of ski days. I'm reluctant to tell the story, everyone else there was so nice, and I wouldn't want to do anything to contribute to Black's demise. But if he's often behaving the way he did that day, I'm sure he'll turn off more people than I will with this post.
Saturday Feb 5th, couldn't ask for a better day. Foot plus of fresh snow and the summit open for the first time this year. Trees were skiing great and we got lots of first tracks. Employees and other guests were all super friendly.
Around 2:30 we were enjoying some runs off the triple. When we got to the bottom two people were putting up a new rope that went from the base of the triple out about 15-20 feet perpendicular to the lift corral (basically empty by the way). I couldn't see the rope too well, but could see them putting it up, so it caused me no problem. One of my kids was still up the hill messing around with some power or something so I was just standing there for a minute or two. So now the rope is up and apparently VERY hard to see. Yes it was orange, but it looks like it was 20 years old, and no ribbons on it. Skier after skier obviously can't see it. But one of the employees starts yelling at anybody that comes even close to his rope. Eventually a female snowboarder, maybe around 30 years old, has some trouble just above the rope. It must have been a little slick, even though she was coming in very slow, she slid under the rope a bit. She didn't seem overly skilled, was kinda floundering on the ground. That was it!!! He starts chewing in to her, telling her she's blind and threatening to take her ticket. Bending over with hands on his knees, totally getting in her face. I think she was apologizing and saying she didn't see the rope. But I could hear him a lot better than her. Meanwhile the other employee seems to realize the rope is a terrible idea and she starts to taking it down. I chimed in a bit and was also told that I'm too blind to be skiing. I know I at one point I said something like "you're gonna chop somebody's head off with that stupid rope". Anyway, my 2nd kid shows up and so does snowboarder's husband (as I later found out). We don't stick around to see the end result. His behavior does irk me for the lift ride though. We have another nice run and head back to the triple. The rope is now back up and much more visible due to the many ribbons now tied to it. The inappropriate employee is now talking to a patroller and nobody is being yelled at anymore. I could tell they were finishing up and decided to wait at the top so that I could speak with the patroller. He was super nice and when I asked the question "who's that guy you were speaking with down there", he sighed and said "that's the owner". He no doubt knew why I was asking and the sigh made me think this wasn't the first time he's seen such behavior. He also said the snowboarder's husband showed up and they "talked things out". I'd be shocked if they ever return, and honestly, I was pretty turned off myself. Say what you want about Vail, but I suspect they would immediately fire anyone that behaved like that. Such a shame, we had such a nice day otherwise, but my main memory of that day will forever be some poor lady having John get in her face. Like I said, seeing his face literally turns my stomach a bit, no way a guest deserves to be treated that way.