I wouldn't say I am advocating shutting down lifts GPP, you make a good point. I am merely pointing out that IMO, lift served areas serve up inferior skiing simply by their existence.
However, I think if they all quit running there would not be a mass exodus to the B/C. Lifts get a lot of people who wouldn't otherwise be skiing to the tops of mountains.
I think that the migration to the B/C began some time ago and is currently accelerating. The people who are heading up under their own power are the ones who would still be skiing if the lifts all closed.
David L, man you pegged it. I love skiing with my dogs...