Our View: Find your joy, choose to be happy this holiday season
The holidays represent a tough time for many people in the Yampa Valley. For those who live and work here, it can be difficult to find a moment’s rest while working such long days under unrelenting demands. Looking around, we see a lot of pressure bearing down on locals, and many folks are afraid, as they try to cope with all the stressors of the busy holiday season.
It’s no secret business owners and managers are worn thinner than ever this year wondering how they’re going to juggle near-record demand with fewer resources than they’ve ever had before. At the same time, our workers have it just as rough, if not worse, often taxed by the high cost of living, lack of affordable housing and financial insecurities associated with calling a resort community home.
On top of that, flights into the Yampa Valley Regional Airport just ramped up for the winter, and many local lodging properties are fully booked. Our guests are coming in droves, and they’re coming with high expectations. Combine the great expectations of our visitors, whom we rely on for so many of our financial and different types of gains, with our short staffs, and the situation is downright scary.
Yes, it’s paradise here in Routt County, but it can be hard, too. Sometimes, it feels like an impending doom looms overhead, waiting to crash down upon us. Many people in resort communities never get to go home for the holidays. Being in the winter tourism industries, the holidays don’t really exist for a lot of us in Routt County. It can also be tough to travel out of the valley this time of year, whether by car or plane. The weather presents an unpredictable variable that often fouls up travel plans, and many of us won’t get to spend Christmas with our loved ones.
That’s why we’re asking locals and guests to seek out their joy, if only for a moment.
Even if you have to work through the holidays, make a point to FaceTime mom and dad, call your brothers and sisters, and reconnect with your kin whomever they may be. We know it’s not the same as being in-person for Christmas, but touching base is critical for our well-being. Consider the boost soldiers serving overseas get from their conversations with the people they love — it can make all the difference.
For our visitors, please remember how shorthanded our businesses and workers are, and show them your kindness. Overworked doesn’t begin to describe the situation our everyday heroes are in, and these are the people who make winter adventures possible. It’s important for visitors to remember that retail is a tough business, especially being on the frontlines right now, and a little compassion can go a long way.
Balancing the pressures that weigh heavy on mountain communities during the holidays is no easy task, but the power of attitude is paramount, and we can choose to be happy. If we can all pause for a moment to connect with friends and family, and find our joy, whether that be skiing, a walk in the snow or whatever brings you happiness, that brief time away will help boost everyone’s Christmas spirit.
At issue: One of the busiest times of the year is upon us, and the stress leading into the Christmas and New Year’s holidays is building.
Our View: If we can all take a moment to find our joy and choose to be happy, everyone will benefit.
• Bonnie Stewart, publisher
• Eli Pace, editor
• Ana Gomez, community representative
• Kelly McElfish, community representative
Contact the Editorial Board at 970-871-4221 or epace@SteamboatPilot.com.
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