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In February 2020, following one of the resort’s deepest snowfalls in its history, visitors to Vail waited for hours in a crowd that ballooned so big you would have thought the lift operators were handing out wads of hundreds and an affordable place to live. The internet deemed it “Lift Line Apocalypse” and, at the time, I felt sorry for all those skiers and snowboarders. Now, I realize they had never been so lucky.

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