The average cost of heating a 800 sq.ft. driveway per month is 2,500$* Most driveways within the neighborhoods of where are three to four times that size. Also, most of the residences are vacation homes, meaning that they are only occupied for a portion of the year and/or season.
That means that the owners are paying between 7,500-10,000$ a month (for five months) to HEAT A DRIVEWAY that may hardly even get used. Some are not driven on at all during some seasons.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that the entirety of Beaver Creek Village is also heated which is probably upwards of two football fields worth of cobblestone and pavement. The scaling is quite different for the village though, being as it’s fueled by the infinitely deep pockets of Vail Resorts. I will say that there is something quite special about driving up the hill in the early morning and onto large heated driveway circle. The blue sky letting the sun shine down through heavy snow-laced trees. Steam forcefully rising and swirling up from the pavement. A beautiful scene that is rarely reproduced and cosmic in it’s own right.
These are thoughts that fill my head as I drive around during my normal work day. My job out here in Avon, Co. consists of driving a mostly certain clientele around a couple snowy mountain ski areas. The terrain creates steep winding roads that are often caked in ice/snow and framed in with large boulders and wooden railings. The transportation services are complementary and offered to anyone within a specific range of the resort’s area. Most of the guests are on skiing vacations, spending large amounts of money to stay at lavish rentals, condos, and hotels. A lot of guests are also visiting from around Colorado. They park in paid lots for the day and ride the complementary buses up to the slopes (I drive these sometimes). There is however a numerous amount of private residences spotted throughout the hills and National Forest land that we also cater to with a special “on-demand” point-to-point service. Driving these shifts is some of the most entertaining and often challenging work within our department. I enjoy them the most.
The challenging situations involve determining whether or not the driver can personally maneuver their vehicle safely in and out of tight, obstacle-lined, often icy driveways. Then, they must successfully accomplish that task. If it’s a heated driveway the task is exponentially easier.
The entertainment comes from hardy, libation-lit souls that want the 80’s rock turned up to eleven. Great conversations blossom from these individuals who come from all over the country and sometimes the globe. There’s something to be said about a family bus full chanting your name after the safe delivery to their destination down a treacherous hill. Special moments, like singing John Denver’s “Country Roads” a capella with a group of elderly women or being tipped in pizza and beer. It’s these moments that aid in making my work more than tolerable but, indeed, very enjoyable.
Beauty is found where you let it be found
Of course there are other major factors contributing to the smiles that adorn face while I’m working. One such factor is the scenery. And yes, there are massive structures worth millions of dollars perpetuating the capitalist flows of tourism marring the hillsides. But, these eyesores are easily transparent and often accented by the surroundings. And I’ve briefly mentioned the weather before but, mostly in it’s perils. The weather out here can be equally gorgeous as hazardous. And, in combination with the terrain, can be down right breathtaking. Sights such as freshly snow-coated mountains on a crispy bluebird day or slinking down into a dense patch of conifers seeking solace. It’s in these comparable moments that one can realize that there is majesty in all things and places. That beauty is found where you let it be found. Whether on a sunny ocean-crested beach or snow-drenched mountain top, one can absorb the happiness emitted by their surroundings.
This is part of why I travel. Why I seek happiness in my surroundings.