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Perspectives
On Berkshire East’s COVID announcement and risk vs reward.

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GREGG
BLANCHARD
       

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that it’s been an odd week.

By day, I can easily get wrapped up in my work. Yet even with my inclination to get into a zone and forget about everything else, there’s this thing out there. Something I don’t understand. Something nobody can predict. Something that can exist undetected. Something that can kill people.

Something that I haven’t really had words for until I saw an announcement from Berkshire East’s, Jon Schaefer. Please read the whole thing, but let me focus on this paragraph:

“In 2006, I was buried in an avalanche in British Columbia. While being buried in that tumble of snow the only thing I could think of was “this isn’t worth it…” This experience informs me now as the only thought that comes to me is, “no ski turn is worth a life.”

My role in this business was given to me by my father who loves being at the mountain every day. His demographics put him at a higher risk than others. If I can’t recommend that he visit his facility, how can I ask anyone else to do the same? Our staff is our family. Our guests are our tribe.

Thus, with conviction, we believe that our businesses can be leaders (however small) in beating back COVID-19 from its current beachhead by immediately closing for what remains of the winter season.

There simply is no benefit to remaining open.”

The business aspect is perhaps the stickiest part. Balancing the value of shutting down with the costs of doing so. One has impacts on human health in the short team. The other may have economic impacts on well being in the long. So when I say “balance” I mean that on both an individual and macro-economic scale.

It’s tough to know what is an overreaction and what’s genuinely the right thing to do, but this definitely feels like the latter.

Oddly, I won’t debate the marketing value of doing so – that feels off – but I applaud Jon and his team for making this call and standing up for where they are at individually and as a community with what’s happening.


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