Editor’s note: Each month, the Vail Valley Foundation will be submitting a column from a community leader, partner or member of its organization on the topic of “making it possible.” With the Birds of Prey World Cup race week set for Tuesday through Dec. 6 in Beaver Creek, the series opens with ideas on what’s possible for the future of skiing and ski racing in the Vail Valley from United States Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Tiger Shaw.
For more than 40 years, the Vail Valley Foundation has been a key player in “making it possible” for U.S. Ski Team athletes and helping elevate the sport of alpine skiing in the United States. As a competitor in the 1989 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at Vail and Beaver Creek, I vividly remember racing on International, now called Lindsey’s, and crossing the finish line in front of thousands of cheering fans.Learn more »
There are a lot of urban myths and rumors out there when it comes to getting your rich uncle (or other family member) to help you qualify for a mortgage loan to buy a home. There are also a lot of confusing rules from the three sources most of the mortgage money comes from (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration). A family member who helps the primary borrower qualify for a mortgage but does not intend to occupy the home is known as a non-occupant co-borrower. Typically, parents are the ones, but I have also worked with siblings helping each other or, in one case, a client really did have a really rich uncle to help him out.
Seasoned FundsLearn more »
All my friends tell me to buy rental property with my investment money but I am more attracted to land purchases. I am not sure why, but I want to own land and I don’t want to deal with renters. I realize I will not get any income and I will have to pay taxes and possibly HOA fees, but I just feel good about being able to own my own piece of dirt. Can you give me some reasons supporting my possibly unsupportable desire to be a dirt owner?Learn more »
The Eagle Valley Land Trust wants to hear from you (meaning everyone in our community) about how we can best serve you.
An equally important, but less vocal, demographic of the “you” we want to hear from are our Hispanic and Latino neighbors. So we conducted a survey at the Cielito Lindo Music & Heritage Festival held in Avon on Sept. 18 and 19. The responses are important and uplifting.Learn more »
You remember a few years ago when everywhere you went you ran into a bumper sticker that said, “Skateboarding is not a crime”? Don’t know who thought that up, but it was everywhere. Jump forward a decade and a half, and you gotta ask, “Is snowboarding a crime?”
Why, you may inquire, do we have to ask if snowboarding is a crime?Learn more »
One of the greatest parts of my profession is being able to meet passionate, caring and wonderful young people. Javier Corona is one of those youth who immensely impresses you after spending five minutes with him. His outlook on life is so positive and profound for such a young age that you keep reminding yourself that if he can be that positive, you certainly can be as well. Javier is a sophomore at Battle Mountain High School who has his sights set on attending Stanford Law School. He hopes to one day practice family law to help people wrongly accused and to help set things right for families who have been deeply affected.
High expectationsLearn more »
It’s often difficult to say what’s on our minds.
We have all been there — we start to speak, stop dead in our tracks, clear our throat, look down and shrug our shoulders. The moment is lost in silence. Our shyness, fear of being misunderstood or scrambling for words that don’t come, can paralyze us. No one wants to be “that person” who blundered and put his foot in his mouth. Comedians joke about “foot in mouth disease” but heaven forbid being in the spotlight that way!Learn more »
Dreams are the fuel of everyday existence. I speak not of the nightly parade of electrochemical illusions that tantalize our waking selves, but of those tightly held goals that push us to strive for more. For many, residence in this captivating locale is the realization of a long-harbored dream. Yet once one becomes accustomed to waking up in a winter wonderland, there must be another dream after which to pine. Despite a life of contentment and excitement, many dreams still populate my mind space. The most starkly rendered is my vision of an international center for conflict resolution replacing the eyesore that is the Edwards Rest Area.
As you arrive into Edwards, your eyes will be drawn not to tractor-trailers, but to a glowing beacon: the Edwards Rotary Center for Conflict Resolution. (This is merely a working title reflecting my love for Rotary and its dedication to peace, so if any person or group out there is looking to invest in a worthy endeavor, I am more than happy to put your name on the still-imaginary door). A strikingly modern building, it will nonetheless look in concert with its environment and will be built according to strict sustainability principles. Its interior will be segmented, but with enough open space to stimulate the flow of people and ideas. To conserve resources, the grounds will be xeriscaped. The architecture will complement the Center’s physical neighbor and spiritual cousin: the local campus of Colorado Mountain College. Having these two institutions within walking distance will exponentially legitimize Edwards as an epicenter for education.Learn more »
As the holidays are just around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to provide some tips and suggestions about assisting families and elders to make the holidays a bit easier.
Perhaps more than any other occasion, the holiday season is steeped in family tradition, with cherished elements that sometimes span generations. But when family members have declining health, maintaining their involvement in those traditions can become challenging.Learn more »
As years go by, birding, or bird watching as a hobby, is becoming more familiar and popular among the non-birding world. In fact, what some might formerly have considered to be a nerdy hobby, birding is starting to break that stereotype as a more diverse group of people explore the ornithological world. Once a pastime of retirees and grandparents, birding is now practiced by teenagers and young adults alike.
Birders in ActionLearn more »
I am sick and tired of HOA regulations and want to find someplace that does not tell me what I can do with my own land. Why would anyone want an association to tell you what you can and cannot park on your own land? Don’t most people wish they could do whatever they want on their property? How do I find a place that does not have homeowner association dues and restrictions?Learn more »
When the Federal Reserve Board meets Dec. 15, all eyes will be on if it finally takes the plunge and raises interest rates on the cost for banks to borrow from the Federal Reserve. In reality, that is the only rate the Fed actually controls, but it is seen as a bell weather and benchmark for many other interest rates out there.
What that means to consumers in the short term is that business borrowing costs will go up, as the Fed rate hike will dictate it costs banks more to raise the capital it takes to lend to businesses, and businesses will eventually pass on those costs to consumers.Learn more »
Small businesses are always looking for ways to improve their bottom line — through increased revenues or by managing expenses. Something for small businesses to consider is the creation of workplace wellness programs, as these types of employee benefits can impact employee satisfaction.
I can’t say with any certainty that happier employees are going to affect your bottom line, but logically it should have a positive impact. Consider: Satisfied employees make better workers, which lowers employee turnover (a major expense for many businesses), which does affect your bottom line.Learn more »
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. And like all holidays, this one has plenty of traditions, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (started in 1924) and football (the first broadcast Thanksgiving Day game was played between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears in 1934). Traditions are important, and you may want to establish some in one of the key activities of your own life: investing.
TRADITIONS TO CONSIDERLearn more »
While it may be generally accepted that most caregivers are women, there is a growing amount of males who are choosing to take on the caregiving role not only within their own family, but also as a career. Some studies indicate that male caregivers may account for more than a third or more of the caregiving population.
Just 15 years ago, men made up only 19 percent of caregivers in America. According to a recent report from the National Alliance for Caregivers, male caregivers may account for nearly 40 percent of all caregivers.Learn more »
Since its inception, snowboarding has gone from a fringe counterculture sport to an Olympic mainstay as one of the most popular spectator events. It provides a spectacular display of athleticism, requiring as much skill, conditioning, determination and grit as any winter Olympic sport. In 2002 snowboarding joined Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s list of competitive snow sports as a full time offering, changing the name of the organization from Ski Club Vail to Ski & Snowboard Club Vail.
Fast forward to 2013 when three current SSCV snowboard athletes and one alumna competed in the Sochi Olympics, with SSCV athletes Kaitlyn Farrington and Ayumu Hirano taking home gold and silver, respectively, in halfpipe. In 2014, SSCV was named the USSA Snowboard Club of the Year and one of our coaches was named USSA Domestic Coach of the Year.Learn more »
There is nothing wrong with group fitness programs, but you need to understand what you’re getting into. I have coached group fitness dynamics for over a decade and have realized like most things in life, you really do get what you pay for. The most appealing benefit of group fitness programs is the financial savings for the consumer. Most group fitness services such as CrossFit, Pure Barre, yoga, and ski conditioning classes that are numerous in the valley right now, cost $100-$150 per month for unlimited participation; at specific clubs, group fitness offerings are complimentary. The problem is, the financial savings can cost you physically. Let’s talk about the potential problems with group fitness, and solutions for the economical fitness consumer.
NEEDS VARYLearn more »
For more than 100 years, hot springs in Colorado have attracted vast numbers of visitors to their healing, relaxing and intriguing waters.
In Colorado, we are fortunate to have both artificial and natural hot springs. The artificial ones, usually found at resorts, are similar to hot tubs and the waters are commonly pumped from the ground into artificial pools. We know this hot water comes from deep inside the Earth, but there are clearly more questions to be answered.Learn more »
While the West has transformed and evolved greatly since the pioneer days, mining laws remain largely unchanged. Hardrock mining and extraction is, to this day, governed by President Ulysses S. Grant’s General Mining Law of 1872.
Five U.S. Senators, including Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, have introduced the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2015 in an attempt to reform that 140-year-old law and provide a modern mechanism by which we might cleanup abandoned mines throughout the West.Learn more »
Why won’t sharks attack lawyers? Professional courtesy. It is a gem of a joke: succinct, biting (pun intended), cute, and hinting that even the most dastardly creatures have a code of conduct. Simply classic.
My new favorite take on this trope, found after scouring the Internet, goes like this: “Why are lawyers like nuclear weapons? If one side has one, the other side has to get one. Once launched, they cannot be recalled. When they land, they screw up everything forever.” It humorously encapsulates the zeitgeist’s impression of lawyers. Yet my research also turned up an alarming amount of lawyer jokes whose humor was rooted in the dismemberment or other untimely demise of an attorney. Despite trying to take it all in stride, the experience was a bit rattling. Possessing a reformer’s attitude toward the legal profession, I nonetheless instinctively felt defensive about the jokes, quips and anecdotes with which I was assaulted. As it happens, lawyer jokes are not always a laughing matter.Learn more »
I keep hearing on the news and reading in The Denver Post how there is such a seasonal rental shortage for employees in the mountain resort towns. It seems to be worse in Steamboat and Breckenridge, but presuming we have some of the same shortage issues here, how does that affect the value of my real estate here? Does that make it a better time to sell ... or buy?Learn more »
If you are one of those people who bought your property in early 2007, paid top dollar and did not have a big down payment, then you might still be somewhat underwater in your mortgage if you have not found a way to refinance under HARP, the Home Affordable Modification Program.
HARP allows homeowners with loans closed prior to April 30, 2009, to refinance up to (generally) 105 percent loan-to-value, often with unlimited combined loan-to-value if there is a second mortgage in place. Although millions of these loans were closed over the last several years, and rising property values have put most homeowners back above water; some studies estimate that there are still millions of homeowners out there who could benefit from these programs.Learn more »
’Tis the season to express our gratitude — and we’re fortunate we have quite a bit to be thankful for here in the Vail Valley.
Vail’s Opening Day is just one week away, followed by Beaver Creek shortly after. Mother Nature has helped get us off to a good start to the ski season and many locals are hopeful El Nino will bless us with a great snow year.Learn more »
You may be quite willing to plan an investment strategy for your retirement years. After all, it can be enjoyable to think about traveling the world, pursuing your hobbies or participating in any of the activities you’ve associated with an active retirement. However, once you do retire, you’ll need to “shift gears” somewhat to focus on your legacy. Specifically, to protect your loved ones and ensure your intentions are clear and carried out, you’ll need to do some more planning — and you’ll need to share your thoughts with your family.
Here are some moves to consider:Learn more »
It’s not often that you meet a seventh-grader asking questions about college, especially ones specific to science majors. The Walking Mountains Science Center STEM program attracts students that are invested in a future of science and learning. As a STEM educator, I have encountered many special and driven students. Some students are so inspired by the program and its values they take charge and coordinate their own schedules with coaches and teachers to balance multiple extracurricular activities. I’ve watched many of my students take an active role in committing to the interactive hands-on program for all three years.
The school year is well underway and here at Walking Mountains Science Center we are excited about our continued partnership with Eagle County Schools that helps to awaken a sense of wonder through our in-school science programs. Every year, Walking Mountains organizes and implements the Avon In-School (kindergarten through fifth grade), Girls in Science (third through fifth grade), and STEM Leadership Academy (sixth through eighth grade) programs. We are proud to offer STEM, the Science Technology Engineering and Math program, available to boys and girls, for our third year in a row.Learn more »
As a vehement proponent of the magic of mediation, I frequently feel like a voice crying in the wilderness. While there are an increasing number of people embracing the potential of mediation, there are many who regard the process with contempt. This group is disproportionately comprised of high-powered business people and old-school litigators. In their misguided view, talking through their issues is too touchy-feely, the domain of hippies and mystics. They see mediation as the coward’s way out of a conflict. I find that perspective to be a massive pile of equine excrement. But their perception of mediation as “new-age” is at least partially correct: there is no doubt that mediation is the future of dispute resolution. Not only can it meet the needs of families in crisis or neighbors at each other’s throat, but it is a boon to the bottom-line.
Friction within CompaniesLearn more »
In most ski towns, the upcoming winter snow forecast becomes a subject of concern akin to presidential elections or reality TV. People want to know what kind of season to expect, but disparate sources make it hard to get a clear picture. “Experts” ranging from self-proclaimed meteorology buffs to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration all have a thing or two to say about the upcoming winter. Unfortunately, I am not the oracle for whom you’ve all been waiting. Any information I have is already out there. But I’ve assembled some of the most reliable sources to help all you powder hounds out there navigate the storm of winter weather predictions.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard people rest their confidence in a stellar winter on this year’s El Nino, then I would probably have about $5. That may not be much money, but it is enough to make me want to set the record straight. Unfortunately, an El Nino is not actually that reliable.Learn more »
Open space, unspoiled and undeveloped, is the largest contributor to our high quality of life, and the strongest driver of our outdoor recreation and tourist-based local economy. Eagle Valley Land Trust’s work is essential to the fabric of our community because it provides valuable natural benefits such as clean air, clean water and habitats for wildlife to flourish. Additional benefits include a stable local economy, plentiful jobs, recreation access and outdoor education to youth.
Diligently Monitoring PropertiesLearn more »
We’re fortunate to have Vail and Beaver Creek in our backyard, and of course skiing and snowboarding are important to our sense of community.
Did you know that your business has the ability to purchase ski passes for your employees through the Vail Resorts Merchant Pass program? Consistent with past years, Vail Resorts offers the Eagle County Merchant Pass program to Vail Valley Partnership members, offering skiing and snowboarding at both Vail and Beaver Creek (as well as our neighbors in Summit County).Learn more »
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. If you’re considering adoption, then you know that it will change your life in many ways. And you’ll need to prepare for many of these changes — including the financial ones because adoption can be expensive.
The average U.S. adoption costs between $8,000 and $40,000, while the range for international adoptions is $15,000 to $30,000, according to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, a U.S. government-funded adoption information service.Learn more »