We decided 25 years ago that we should find a place to enjoy our twilight years. Being skiers, we spent one week at most of North America’s slopes to find that place.
I can still remember smiling at her on Lift 8 at Purgatory, asking why we were looking any farther. The powder, the deep blue skies and the town’s concerts and lectures were enticing. A special rate for 62-year-olds sealed the deal: Purgatory wanted us!
This last winter was our 19th three- or four-month winter vacation at Purgatory. We have many great memories of those early years: the welcoming serene classical music over the loudspeakers at the plaza; the wager at the base to see which chair would get to the top quickest; the opening of the six-pack and the traditional first ride for some “original” members.
We also had many personal highs, none more so than a wonderful week of skiing Purgatory with our entire family of 14 in March 2009 to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary; we even earned film credits and a bit part in that “classic” movie, “Cheap Ski Movie.”
Finances are always important: the age 62 bargain; free passes at age 70 for several years before the rates started to climb; my annual visits to the ticket office where I tried to explain with pencil and paper that a rise in the cost of living of 2.9 percent could never translate into an 11 percent increase in fees, only to be countered with, “Oh, oh, the Canadian mathematician is back again!” As Canadians, we have always admired American treatment of seniors and its mastery of marketing.
Unfortunately, Purgatory has ruined that reputation with its inexplicable increase in fees for seniors like us. I won’t bother to use my pencil and paper to explain some basic mathematics skills to the Purgatory folks.
So we will vote with our skis next year and spend future winter months in Canada, where we can still afford to ski.
To all our Durango friends, au revoir; to Purgatory, we simply say goodbye.
Glenn and Anna Bier