From the early-morning Bloody Mary to the common spring skiing tailgate, there's a drinking culture at many ski resorts that's impossible to ignore. After all, there can be few things more rejuvenating in the middle of a leg-crushing powder day than a brewski at lunch. That being said, the presence of alcohol on the ski slopes can pose several obvious problems.
Here's a quick look at support for both sides of this topic:
1. Alcohol service SHOULD be allowed at resorts:
Just let adults be adults. We trust them to control their drinking while driving, so we can also trust them to drink responsibly while they're hitting the slopes.
There will always be bad apples, but having a bartender responsible for selling beer to parties who aren't already intoxicated helps eliminate that risk.
On-resort sales of alcohol make it convenient for patrons who are looking to partake, they drive sales that help pad the ski hill's bottom line, and they offer an alternative to an inevitable BYOB option that could open the door to additional problems.
2. Alcohol service SHOULD NOT be allowed at resorts:
It's common knowledge that alcohol impairs those who consume it. Given the dangerous nature of skiing, preventing alcohol and this extreme sport from mixing are crucial to everyone's safety. Drunk skiers pose a major threat to themselves, but also to others on the mountain.
Given the volume of people often frequenting a ski hill bar and the number of different places on the mountain to find a drink, monitoring safe consumption is near impossible.
People aren't allowed to get drunk and drive, so why should it be easy for them to get drunk and ski?
3. The middle ground:
Ask anyone who drinks regularly: Alcohol has a tendency to make things more fun. Whether it's consumed at a bar, at a football game or at the base of a ski hill, alcohol plays a durable role in American culture that will likely keep it on-demand at recreation spots for the foreseeable future.
Instead of arguing an absolute, perhaps there's a way to keep alcohol on the ski hill but make consumption of it safe for everyone.