Vail Lift Lines Visible from Space, Area to Remain Under Severe Winter Crowd Watch
January 31, 2014 Vail, CO - 1,000-Year Crowd Results in Vail Lift Lines Long Enough to be Visible from Outer Space.
For a brief moment Friday morning, the clouds parted from the massive snow storm hitting the the Colorado Rocky Mountains just long enough for satellite cameras to take a quick shot of Vail Ski Resort and capture the tens of thousands waiting in Vail Resorts' lift lines.
Throughout Wednesday and Thursday, storms have been dumping snow on the Colorado Rockies, leaving the Vail Ski Resort with 26 inches of new snow and counting. With so much hype for an epic powder day, crowds developed early Friday morning in the thousands, hitting the lift lines by 7:20 AM and leaving the Vail Village and Lionshead areas a complete disaster. Vail is to remain under a severe Winter Crowd Warning until 4:30 PM, Sunday.
Local Crowdologist, Matt Holmes, described the crowd as a kind of perfect storm.
"The travel pattern is a phenomenon called the 'Weekend Warrior Vortex'. The pattern starts to develop when snow reports climb above the 12 inch mark. The hype begins to circulate and build in the Front Range and surrounding areas during the evening. The pressure continues to build overnight, and is released up the mountains along I-70. The influx starts to dissipate in Summit County, but with Weekend Warrior numbers in the tens of thousands, the effects of this pattern can be felt as far West as Beaver Creek. When you combine weather reports like the ones we've had, and a weekend that is not blacked out , the results could turn out to be a 1,000-Year Crowd."
The blast of the crowd pattern has a crippling effect on the locals.
"All my favorite powder stashes become completely inaccessible. Busses fill up, no parking is available and the streets are a total mess. Supermarkets are completely ransacked. You can't get a restaurant reservation or even find an open bar stool. Us locals just have shut ourselves in the house and wait it out," said local yoga instructor, Elise Reynolds.
Crowd accumulation is expected to reach the hundreds of thousands by the end of the weekend. "We're just going to have to brace ourselves and hope for the best. There could be no remaining resources by the time these crowds are over."
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