Sunday, October 21, 2012

Reflective Thoughts on Cell Coverage

I am not surprised there was so much interest and comment on the cell phone/wifi topic.  Over the years I have received lots of comments about our lack of cell coverage.  The majority of that feedback encouraged us to get cell coverage, but a chunk of the feedback relished not having coverage.  It strongly reminds me that A-Basin can be a lot of different things to different people.  When we talk about our culture or our vision at the ski area, the word "freedom" comes up a lot.  On the cell phone topic, freedom can really mean different things.  For some people, spending a day at the Basin is good because they have the freedom to get away from their phone.  Some people have to or want to stay in contact and cell coverage allows them to ski and still stay connected.  Others just like coverage to find their family and friends.  There is no right and wrong here.  That is just the way it is.  Being next to a major US Highway, we have always known cell coverage was coming.  Now it is almost here.  I know I won't carry my phone everywhere I go, but I certainly will carry at times.  In the end I hope this addition helps the people that want coverage and doesn't annoy the people that don't.


Anonymous said...

I think cell phones are pretty obnoxious and there is nothing worse than riding the lift with some tool rambling on about this or that, but I also know there is a need for some form of contact now and then. Like you said, inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Well said AL- just like every run at Arapahoe Basin means something different to each skier, cell phone coverage will mean something different to each skier as well.

Anonymous said...

Pay phones rock!!!!! I think the basin has the last two!!!!

Chris W. said...

The people who say there shouldn't be cell phone coverage because they like to be able to be freed from their phones for a day crack me up. Sometimes for reasons beyond my control I am compelled to ski at areas other than A-Basin, some of which have excellent cell phone coverage. I leave the darn thing at home. Problem solved.

Bumpy said...

They can be turned off !

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's simple for people to get unplugged, just turn your damn phone off. For those of us who need to be reachable there is no choice.

Phil said...

Those of you who MUST HAVE cell phone coverage at the Basin - what did you do 15 years ago? You survived, right? These are the mountains where many go to get away from noise - it's ok for those around you not to want more infiltration of noise by way of cell phone usage.

Anonymous said...

There still are such mtns....aka backcountry. A-basin, last time I checked, is a ski area. Using the 15 yr ago argument is the equivalent of lamenting the demise of the cotton gin. Times change and it is pretty apparent that while a lot of the basin can stay the same, it serves the overall business to move forward here and there. Recent examples: BML, BMX, Zuma bowl, the beavers announcement. Hopefully people aren't obnoxious with it, but there are always a few. Also, like Alan said that with the highway location it was only a matter of time.

I know the people that love the basin want to keep it to themselves and keep it the same, but it is a business. If lack of service sends people elsewhere (many likely well-heeled) is that good long-term?

That said, if the A-frame is ever torn down and replaced that would be devastating. It is a large part of the history and fabric of the basin.

Phil said...

I don't expect A-Basin to NOT have improved cell service. Wheels are already in motion. I understand it is a business, and want A-Basin to do what it needs to do to thrive in that reality - not sure how much of this is a business-need or not.

The fact is 15 years ago, people did just fine without their cell phones at A-Basin. The infiltration of noise into every area of our lives isn't a good thing.

I love A-Basin and what it has been and continues to be. I think they've done a superb job of balancing "new and improved" while maintaining the classic experience that makes A-Basin what it is...different than most of the resorts.

When people comment about going to Keystone instead - I say - fine, go to Keystone for your 1-2 hour weekday outings. I bet you'll still come to A-Basin when you have a larger window of time and can live without your cellphone for those few hours.

I don't want A-Basin to be anything like Keystone. Keystone's not a bad place - but we don't need another Keystone. It does get tiring being on chairs next to people yelling on their cell phones the whole way up. Or cutting across catwalks while they're talking on the phone. Again, noise that not all of us want when we go to the mountains to get away from that.

Thanks, Al and A-Basin for all you do.

Anonymous said...

While I understand the argument against cell phone coverage, I think A-Basin will be better served with cell phone coverage for several reasons.

A-Basin and it's hardcore supporters tout A-Basin as a "local's mountain". My buddy who lives and works in Dillon is on call every other weekend and must have cell coverage if he wants to go ride. Unfortunately, we need to go to Keystone on the weekends he is on call due to a lack of cell coverage at A-Basin. So how does a lack of a service at a great mountain like A-Basin support locals like my buddy who is on call?

Like many people, I like to play hooky for a couple of hours on powder days if I can. In order to play hooky I still need to have a level of connectivity. That doesn't mean I'm taking phone calls on the lift, but being able to check e-mail or go to my car to take a call is important to me and many others.

Lastly, think about emergencies. Some of the A-Basin purists seem to forget that every hazardous load that can't go through the tunnel goes motoring by A-Basin just a couple dozen feet off the runs. Could you imagine a fuel spill or fire in that area with a delayed response time due to a lack of cell coverage? Cell phone coverage could be the difference between a minor accident and a major ecological disaster. No one, not even the people who don't want cell service, wants to see something like that happen. It's easily avoidable with cell coverage to improve emergency response times.

Let's face it, times change. Just as technology changes, A-Basin continues to expand the terrain and services offered to their customers. I think cell phone coverage at A-Basin is a natural (and needed) progression for the mountain.

Anonymous said...

I agree- coverage is inevitable and there are several points to be made about having the coverage. I am also on call, also play hooky, need to have some sort of connection to enjoy the time I can wrestle away from my job. I also hate spending hours trying to find a friend when I can't call and arrange that. I'm also a parent, so at some point parental responsibilities need to be there to find my kid or if an activity ends early I can be responsible to pick them up on time.

The easy solution for those who don't like it, leave your phone in your car or turn it off. Lead by example. You can't change everyone, but you can change yourself.

I'm by no means an ABasin purist, but if you want to preserve your culture put up some signs. You have banned smoking in the lift lines (thank you). Why not make it a perogative to tell patrol to advise people to move off the slope to make their calls when they see this type of behavior. We all can lead by example. I have to be plugged in for my job constantly, but if I have to take a call I'm in the woods (ahh, what an office!). Think of what peer pressure can do to a crowd...

A parting thought: imagine you or a loved one unable to reach help due to an on-mountain injury. You will want to stay together rather than have someone depart for help. Having phone coverage is a wonderful thought when you consider on-mountain injuries and response times.