You cannot step twice into the same river;
for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.”
The ancient Greeks seemed to understand cause
and effect much better than we do. Indeed, long before Plato sat at the feet of
Socrates — centuries even before Athens became the centre of the Hellenic
universe — these early thinkers clearly understood the fundamental
inter-connectedness of things. For them it was obvious: no matter how hard we
humans try to control our surroundings, we can’t just change one thing. Call it
the Law of Unintended Consequences. Or call it karma. Whatever. But we moderns
still struggle with that concept...
Consider today’s mountain tourism business.
Heck, you might set out to build a new on-mountain lift to solve one problem
and realize that it has created a whole set of other problems in its turn. But
then you could discover a new world of opportunities too. You just never know.
That’s why I thought I’d drop Hugh Smythe a
quick note about W/B’s latest mechanical mountain toy. It’s all about
unintended consequences. Read on. Who knows? It
make for fun New Year’s Eve chitchat.
Season’s Greetings! I’m sure you’re wondering
why you haven’t heard from me of late. But then I know you understand. What
with all the hullabaloo surrounding the opening of the Treeline Gondola (sorry,
I just can’t get my head around the ‘p2p’ moniker), I figured you were getting
all the positive reinforcement you needed for pulling off such a bold move.
And what a vintage Smythe move that was.
Forget Fortress. Forget the current leadership at Intrawest. This was all you.
What a fitting 21
century sequel to the story of the guy who
defied his Aspen bosses 23 years ago and stole a lift from Fortress Mountain to
give Blackcomb the crucial alpine edge it needed to survive. You know Hugh,
I’ve always believed that Whistler’s modern era was born on the day you
launched the 7th Heaven T-Bar…
I know. I know. I was highly critical of your
decision to build the Treeline Gondola. Didn’t believe Whistler needed it
frankly. More importantly, I really didn’t believe Whistler could afford it.
Still don’t. I mean, I get a real buzz from riding in my buddy’s Ferrari
— love all the shiny buttons and beautiful paint job and hand-tooled
leather seats and that great road-hugging feel as we go spinning through the
countryside — but I also know I’ll never own one myself. Why? Because
it’s not within my means.