Guest Editorial: Sleepless at the Canyons
April 1, 2014
We spend our winter season at the Canyons resort in a condo we own at the Vintage on the Strand and unfortunately the Vail and the Canyons are not up to their mission statement and they disregard residents as well as customers. Under our windows we have storage and refueling station operated by the Canyons resort. Every day and several times in the middle of the night the Canyons conducts storage, refueling and grooming activities in total violation of the Summit County Noise Ordinance. Delivery trucks arrive at any time, snowcats load in the middle of the night food and beverage for the slopes’ restaurants, 4 to 6 snowcats per night refuel at different times, snowcats are grooming Sunrise lift runs for often more than 20 minutes at 3 or 4 a.m.
themselves, only running their engines, the equipment is noisy but it is getting worse when the back up as they use their sirens at less than 50 feet from our windows. In that case we reach 65 to 75 decibels with a snowcat engine running and 95 decibels with the sirens in action. The regulation says "65 decibels shall be considered to be excessive and unusually loud," The ski resorts have only an exemption to the Noise Ordinance for "snowmaking." For two winter seasons not one of our nights was peaceful and we were awakened by the reckless behavior of the Canyons resort often several times each night. This is a nightmare.
We complained to the CEO of the resort and to Summit County in January, 2013. The county didn’t do anything but encouraged us to discuss with the Canyons resort in order to solve the issue. We followed their advice. Despite assurances from the Canyons they will make an effort to improve the situation, nothing changed. Our hope was to have an improvement with Vail and we were very disappointed to see that Vail management is not better than Talisker. They have enough time to perform the resort’s maintenance from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. They are obviously not ready make any effort that any well-run organization would have made considering the disastrous effect on our daily life. When you operate a business one of the key responsibilities of a company is to know the law and meet all the regulatory requirements. We asked Summit County to enforce their own regulations (they received all the emails we sent to the Canyons to protest for two years) and up to now they have not done anything. We called the Sheriff and filed a complaint, nothing changed. It looks like the compliance to the Noise ordinance by the Canyons and its enforcement by the Summit County are optional. The Canyons benefits from a special treatment and can violate daily a regulation without any reaction from the people in charge at the Summit County. Why? I don’t understand. The Ordinance admits the seriousness of excessive and loud noise" a detriment to public health, comfort, convenience, safety, or welfare of the residents of the county." We feel like second-rank citizens as the Summit County dropped the ball and refuses to protect us.