Columns

Vail Daily column: Why so many opportunities in western part of county?

February 27, 2015 — 

Dear Joan,

I own a second home in Beaver Creek and for the first time I am giving thought to doing a development venture in Eagle County. I have checked with a Realtor and discovered numerous opportunities for sizable developments in the Eagle and Gypsum areas. Why are there so many opportunities for sizable tracts of land in Western Eagle County and how does that fit with what is happening in the resort areas?

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Vail Daily column: Millions are unclaimed by those involved in foreclosures

February 27, 2015 — 

If you were (or still are) a homeowner whose home was in any stage of foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2013, listen up. If your loan was serviced by (meaning you made your payments to) Bank of America, Chase, Citibank, Citi Financial or Citi Mortgage, Countrywide, GMC, Everbank, EMC, Goldman Sachs, HFC, HSB, Litton, Met Life, Morgan Stanley, National City, PNC, Saxon Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust, US Bank, Wachovia, WAMU, Wells Fargo or Wilshire Credit, then you might have unclaimed cash waiting from a few hundred dollars to $125,000.

During that period, over 4 million homeowners were in some stage of foreclosure with the above mortgage companies. Many were treated unfairly, and while part of the problem was there was no precedent for dealing with such a flood of foreclosures that backlogged the system for months, and in some cases years, there is no question that many people were denied their legal rights to try and keep their homes. The government started a review process to try and right the wrongs that were done, and each homeowner in any stage of foreclosure was invited to send in their story with the promise that if their complaint were justified, then they would be compensated to some degree.

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Indecision and fallen fruit

February 27, 2015 — 

He was middle-aged, Hispanic, with tired eyes and hair speckled with gray.

Ellie and I were returning from a ski trip in the San Juan Mountains and had stopped at a local market to resupply. Ellie shopped while I waited in our camper listening to the radio.

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Vail Daily column: Conservation easements are a powerful tool

February 26, 2015 — 

At Eagle Valley Land Trust, we protect land and water through a tool called a conservation easement. Many of Eagle Valley Land Trust’s conservation easements protect land that is publicly accessible to anyone living in or visiting our community, but Eagle Valley Land Trust also protects land that remains in private ownership. Most often this means only the owner and their invited guests are allowed to access the property. Conservation easements must protect conservation values that are beneficial to the public, not just the individual landowner. What public benefit can there be, if the public is not allowed to access a property Eagle Valley Land Trust conserves? To answer this, we first need to know the reasons why land trusts protect land.

Recreational Activities

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Vail Daily letter: Colorado’s tourism efforts an economic driver

February 26, 2015 — 

Two weeks ago in this space we reviewed Colorado’s “opportunity gap.” As a refresher and for those who missed it, Colorado in 2014 had the second largest “opportunity gap” of any “aspirational destination” in the continental U.S. This means that of the 25 percent of people in 2013 who said they wanted to visit Colorado, only 9 percent actually visited. A Strategic Marketing & Research Inc. analysis provides an outline to Colorado’s Legislature showing that an increase of $10.7 million to the state tourism office budget would result in $1.2 billion in incremental spending from new visitors.

Investing in tourism from a state level will help our state reach our goal to become one of the top destinations for domestic and international travelers. Research shows we’re already a top aspirational destination and that people want to visit here, yet the statistics also show that we’re only reaching a fraction of our possible audience with our limited marketing budget.

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Vail Daily column: Sonnenalp Club shares exciting vision for families

February 25, 2015 — 

This is an exciting year for all of us in the Vail community. While we all realize the importance of the winter season, it is gratifying to see the emergence of more summer activities, the valleywide marketing effort and the multitude of special events which all factor into making Vail a true destination for all seasons and a viable community in which businesses and families can thrive.

We at the Sonnenalp have taken the past year to develop a new vision for our club in Edwards. As we prepare for the future, I am excited to share with you some news regarding enhancements to the Sonnenalp Club and our vision for the club’s future.

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Vail Daily column: Learning the value of 51

February 24, 2015 — 

Years ago, I heard someone say that leadership is about helping people achieve things they would not accomplish on their own. At Think2Perform, we provide leadership and support to individuals and organizations to help tap potential, achieve record-setting performance and reach heights they may not attain without some extra help.

Very often, the path to achieving peak performance begins with leaders changing their behavior. While we know that managing behavior begins with self-awareness, the problem for many is a lack of self-awareness. We simply just don’t pay enough attention to our thoughts, feelings, actions and behavior. While lack of self-awareness has implications for us individually, when you’re a leader, the impact of not paying attention to our behavior grows exponentially as the effects reach those who look to you for leadership. Building on the underlying principle that influence of others, or effective leadership, is a function of the leader managing their own behavior, we use the leader’s actions as the roadmap in our work to optimize overall results.

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Living with Vitality column: Healthy stress versus chronic, unhealthy stress

February 23, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is part two in a five-part series from the Vail Vitality Center at Vail Mountain Lodge. Look for columns on Tuesdays in the Health section of the Vail Daily and learn how to manage stress using a variety of modalities.

Everyone feels emotional stress in their daily lives. In our first column of this five-part series on managing stress, the Vail Vitality Center’s Ben Stone addressed some of the physical effects of stress on the body, including cortisol, glucose regulation, weight gain and thyroid function. In this column, I will suggest ways to combat stress by working with a personal trainer or coach.

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Vail Daily column: Failures of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau

February 20, 2015 — 

One of the early stated goals of the Dodd Frank Act was to create an all powerful, all knowing quasi government agency to protect consumers from the evil clutches of big banks. They called it by a very innocuous (and civic-minded sounding) name of the “Consumer Finance Protection Bureau” (aka the CFPB).

While that sounds like a group that would lead the charge against widows and orphans being overcharged (and they might do that) the reality is the old adage that those who do something well do it, and those who have not a clue what they speak of regulate it.

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Vail Daily column: Luxury bargains?

February 20, 2015 — 

Dear Joan,

I am afraid my husband is going to buy a luxury second home for us here in the Vail Valley​. I do love to visit here, and so do our children, it is just that I am the practical one in our family, and I fear it is a poor investment. We can afford it, but there are so many other places we could spend that much money and get a return on our investment that I feel frivolous spending it here. I know that it is your job to sell buyers the most expensive homes you can, but don’t you think I have a valid point?

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Vail Daily column: World Champs were a rousing success

February 19, 2015 — 

The local economies of many resort-oriented towns across the country rely on special events and festivals to help drive visitation, tourism dollars and sales tax revenues. This isn’t unique to the Vail Valley or to Colorado; it’s true across the country. Special events are big business, which benefit small businesses within resort communities.

Our community knows events. Special events are a key component of our brand, and we do events well; from statewide events such as the USA Pro Cycling Challenge to local events such as the GoPro Mountain Games and Bravo! Vail Music Festival, events are a significant economic driver for our business community.

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Vail Daily column: Look through this ‘LENS’ when making Social Security decisions

February 19, 2015 — 

Your Social Security benefits can be an important part of your retirement income strategy. But when should you start taking these payments?

You can begin accepting Social Security as early as 62, but your monthly checks will be much smaller than if you wait until your “full retirement age,” which will likely be between 66 or 67.

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Vail Daily column: Follow these tips to respect the trails

February 19, 2015 — 

As winter draws in and the snowpack gets deeper, it seems the array of toys we can play with and transportation methods we can use only increase. This time of year, trail users range from fat bikes to skinny skis, snowshoes to hiking boots, and everything in between. We are lucky here in the Vail Valley, where we have an abundance of trail networks and open spaces that allow so many different users to enjoy the same area.

With that in mind, the Vail Valley Mountain Bike Association would like to encourage a few winter tips to keep our treasured trails in good condition.

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Vail Daily column: What did you say?

February 18, 2015 — 

Have you ever found yourself so distracted during a conversation that you had to ask the other person, “What did you say?”

And maybe it’s not even the fact that you were distracted, maybe the other person was just talking too slow or too fast for you to comprehend what they had said, so again you ask, “What did you say?”

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Vail Daily column: What the Constitution says

February 17, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the eighth part of a series.

So much controversy, debate and, yes — anger — has the Second Amendment stirred over the two and a quarter centuries since its adoption, it deserves a little historical context. Adopted by the states in 1791, the Second Amendment provides, in its entirety that “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

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Vail Daily column: What’s your ‘aging plan’?

February 16, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the first in a two-part series detailing the importance of establishing open communication with our aging loved ones.

I am almost 50 years old. My father passed away many years ago and my mother is in her mid-70s. Speaking to loved ones about a plan for their later years is something I have done personally and something I happily share with friends and clients.

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Your Inner Athlete column: Find your ‘flow’

February 16, 2015 — 

You’ve most likely heard people talk about the runner’s high or being in the zone. Sport psychologists call it “flow,” but it all means the same thing: It’s the moment in time when you both feel and perform your absolute best.

On average, people can easily access about 65 percent of their absolute strength. With flow, five neurotransmitters are released into your body, creating the opportunity to push your strength to its absolute threshold. In this state, you’ll jump higher, lift more, reach farther and persist longer — all while loving every minute of it!

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Vail Daily column: How best to help?

February 15, 2015 — 

A Gallup poll taken the day after Barack Obama secured the presidency in 2008 indicated 70 percent of Americans believed race relations would improve under the new administration (you can count me among those 70 percent). But today, fewer than 18 percent of Americans believe race relations have improved regardless of the president’s exhortations to the contrary.

It’s unfair to link the state of race relations to the president, but the string of racially dividing comments he’s made since taking office hasn’t helped. Early in his presidency, Mr. Obama accused police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of acting “stupidly” for arresting a prominent black Harvard professor (this before he knew the facts), a comment that encouraged racial hostilities. Likewise, comments such as “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon,” have served only to exacerbate racial tensions.

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Vail Daily column: Make peace with your fear

February 15, 2015 — 

As the valley comes down from the two-week adrenaline rush engendered by the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and the attendant crush of concerts and other events, we are left with many lasting impressions. For me, the most poignant images are the downhillers rocketing down the treacherously icy Birds of Prey/Raptor courses. Presumably human, these athletes must experience fear, but to see them pitch themselves headlong down a steep slope, it is hard to reconcile their apprehension with their action. Rather than crippling a racer, fear fuels. In their feats we see our own possibilities and an example emerges: Never let your fear prevent you from chasing what is in your heart.

FEAR AS A WEAPON

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Vail Daily column: Special options exist for veterans buying homes

February 13, 2015 — 

Dear Joan,

My brother is a returning veteran who has a wife and three small children. He is moving to our area and wants to buy a home, but I am afraid that will be tough for him. He and his wife say they don’t want to rent, even though they have very little savings. They both have secure good jobs here and will be starting work shortly and earning good salaries. The whole family will be staying with us so I am concerned they make a realistic decision as quickly as possible. Any advice?

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Vail Daily column: Will mortgage rates rise if the Fed increases other rates?

February 13, 2015 — 

One of the little understood facets of our economy is the role the Federal Reserve Bank plays in controlling interest rates. Make no mistake, it is a major influence, but there is no secret button the Fed can push to fully control rates, and in many cases throughout the years the Fed has found its actions have the opposite impact of what it intended.

What the Fed primarily does is act as a lender to banks to cover short term cash needs. This allows the banks to keep their money working elsewhere while meeting demands of depositors who just have got to go on a vacation or buy a new flat screen and want to make a pesky withdrawal from their accounts or hit their credit cards. These are called overnight loans, and member banks can borrower as needed (within reason). Banks can also borrow for longer periods of time to even out their cash flow.

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Vail Daily column: A guy’s guide to Valentine’s Day

February 13, 2015 — 

Ever since Adam gave Eve a tasteful fruit basket, guys have been foggier about gift-giving for girls than Bill Clinton with ethics questions.

Listen up, guys and repeat after me: “I will not buy my wife and/or reason for living a pocket fisherman for Valentine’s Day. Instead, I will purchase some tasteful jewelry that costs more than the average annual salary in Arkansas.”

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Vail Daily column: The case for increased tourism spending in Colorado

February 12, 2015 — 

Overall visitation to Colorado reached record highs in 2013, with visitation increases of 7.3 percent and visitor spending up by 5 percent from 2012. Tourism directly supports 150,700 jobs in Colorado. Tourism is big business, and it’s not just in the mountain region.

The statistics speak for themselves. Our efforts to promote Colorado are working — and are being noticed. In fact, the Colorado Tourism Office was recently recognized as the best state tourism bureau at the 2015 Travvy Awards, as voted by travel agents from around the country. Congratulations to Al White, John Ricks and the entire Colorado Tourism Office team, as this is a well-deserved recognition.

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Vail Daily column: Financial preps can brighten Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2015 — 

Valentine’s Day is almost here. And while it’s certainly fun to give and receive chocolates and roses, why not go a little deeper this year? Specifically, if you are married, consider using this commemoration of love as a starting point for taking care of your spouse in the future — even if you’re not part of it.

Actually, both you and your spouse could designate Valentine’s Day as the beginning of your joint efforts to provide financial security for the surviving spouse when one of you is gone. Your strategy should involve at least these three key elements.

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Vail Daily column: What the Constitution says

February 11, 2015 — 

Editor’s note: This is the seventh part of a series.

The Bill of Rights. The Ten Commandments of the U.S. Constitution (although there were originally 12 — well sorta — which we will visit later). Sequentially, the Bill of Rights — the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution — follow first the Preamble, then the Articles — but in many eyes anyway, the BoR packs the biggest wallop.

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Vail Daily column: In case you missed it ...

February 10, 2015 — 

Here are a few thoughts, ideas and comments about stuff you may have missed.

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Vail Daily column: When forgiveness trumps apologies

February 10, 2015 — 

Sometimes when we hold out for an apology, we become trapped in the event or episode which caused a hurt in our lives instead of freeing ourselves from the burden of carrying it around with us forever.

We have all been hurt or disappointed at some point in our lives. And it has either been because of someone else, an event or situation, or something we have done ourselves that brings on those feelings of hurt and maybe even anger.

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Vail Daily column: Take steps to prevent heart disease

February 9, 2015 — 

While many people may think that heart disease is more prevalent in men than women, they are wrong.

Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of both men and women in the U.S. Nearly two-thirds of women and half of men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. As a society, we are not doing the best we can to prevent heart disease. In the U.S., someone dies every 37 seconds from some type of cardiovascular disease. By the time you finish reading this article, there may be more than four people who have died.

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Your Inner Athlete column: How to think like an alpine ski racing champion

February 9, 2015 — 

Why is it that athletes with the same physical strength and technical ability achieve different levels of performance? When all else is equal, the ski racers competing at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championship have a unique mindset that allows them to endure the intense conditions, cope with the enormous pressure and become the best in the world at their sport. Were they born mentally tough or is it a skill that can be enhanced just like anything else?

Sport psychology is coined the “science of success” because it studies what top athletes do to perform at their peak.

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Vail Daily health column: Are you a candidate for partial knee replacement surgery?

February 9, 2015 — 

Question: I have been diagnosed with severe knee arthritis. Might I be a candidate for partial knee replacement?

Answer: Osteoarthritis, or “wear and tear arthritis,” is a loss of the articular cartilage or coating cartilage that caps the end of the femur, the top of the tibia and underneath the knee cap. I liken this coating cartilage to the white cartilage on the end of a chicken bone. As this coating cartilage wears away completely, the wear can progress to “bone on bone arthritis,” which typically causes severe pain, swelling, stiffness and a feeling of weakness in the knee. In turn, arthritis can limit a patient’s ability to participate in the activities that they enjoy, such as skiing or hiking.

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