VAIL, Colorado - Here's the good news: Five current and former mayors of Vail will share stories and insights at Tuesday's annual community meeting at the town's Donovan Pavilion. The bad news? They only have about an hour for the panel discussion.
Rob LeVine, who's going to moderate the panel discussion, said that's only about 12 minutes per mayor.
"We'll encourage people to catch up after the event," LeVine said. "And I've asked everyone to keep their answers brief." LeVine said he wants to put roughly equal emphasis on reminiscence and looking forward through the prism of what Vail has already experienced.
Four of the five panel members - Rob Ford, Dick Cleveland, Ludwig Kurz and Andy Daly - still live in town. The fifth, Peggy Osterfoss, is making the trip from her current home in Taos, N.M., for the event.
Osterfoss was first elected to the Vail Town Council in 1989, and served as mayor from 1991-95. That town council served when the Vail Village parking structure was built. The town's roundabouts were built during that time, too, as was the first for-sale employee housing. But, asked what she notices most on her visits, she says it's the growth of the trees that were planted while she was an elected official.
Osterfoss still visits Vail regularly - some years more than others - so she's had a chance to see the town evolve between visits.
"Vail's a pretty dynamic place," she said. "I've enjoyed watching it change."
A lot of that change came in just the last decade or so. Kurz, who was mayor from 1999-2004, said he doesn't think Vail will see that intensity of change again any time soon.
"We had gotten behind the 8-ball compared to our competitors," Kurz said. Not much in Vail had changed in the years before the "Vail renaissance" started in earnest, Kurz said. The pace of those construction and other projects was born of a need to catch up, he said.
If Vail maintains its leadership among mountain resorts, Kurz said he doesn't think there will be a need for the years when cranes dotted the town's skyline.
Andy Daly, the current mayor, said he believes Vail will still have to change quickly, since we live in fast-changing times.
"Rapid change is going to be part of lives," Daly said. "It's not something we should try to avoid."
While Vail's known as a place where people can slow down and relax, Daly said, those guests still need to be able to have the same kind of Internet service they have at home - if that's what they want.
It's going to be tough to squeeze all those thoughts into just an hour, but Daly said he's looking forward to the discussion.
"It should be a great time," Osterfoss said. "I feel fortunate to have the honor of participating."