Last week, our Dolores remained home in bed most of the week sick with a sinus infection. Several of us worked double-duty to cover the front desk, including answering many inquiries about snow from tourists.

They ranged from phone calls asking if we “had snow up there” to folk landing in the Visitors Center to discover the best place to take their kids sledding.

The Chamber of Commerce’s old phone number transferred to us when we opened the VC but even when the Chamber existed and answered its own number, people called here. They called the U.S. Forest Service asking the same questions when I worked the front desk there years and years ago.

They called the State Park, and they called any business in town — especially those with whom they retained some familiarity, such as restaurants where they previously dined.

As a tourist destination, people who own and work at local businesses must not only be up on weather and resources particular to this area, but they must also exhibit patience, as common questions will be asked repeatedly. The best answers must not sound rote, in my experience. Each individual asking should be treated as if their question is unique. I hate anyone leaving our office feeling as though their tourist question is stupid.

The two best questions we received when Dolores was out bear repeating.

A woman called, hesitated and prefaced her query with, “I have a very unusual question to ask. Is there snow on the ground?”

Another person asked if we charge to play in the snow.

(We responded withpositive attitudes to both, by the way.)

Becky Clark, Editor