VAIL — In a recent community survey of nearly 800 Vail residents, respondents told town officials about their top concerns and priorities for the town. The survey has also been conducted in 2007, 2010 and 2012 and includes both second-homeowners and full-time residents, as well as a handful of people who work in town but don’t live there.
Overall, the majority of residents said they were happy with the direction the town was going (64 percent), while 22 percent said the town was on the wrong track. That satisfaction level is slightly down from 2012 (70 percent), largely due to the 18th hole/Vail Golf Club lawsuit involving neighboring residents, said Chris Cares of RRC Associates, who conducted the survey.
Many residents also said they wanted the town to do a better job of providing information to citizens, offering public engagement opportunities and being collaborative in decision-making processes.
“The golf course lawsuit was specifically mentioned by a number of respondents, as were other aspects of communications-related to decisions,” Cares’ report said. He suggested this might be a good chance for the town to improve and gauge residents’ satisfaction in future years.
The survey also asked respondents about their top priorities for the town, and the list was topped out by more (and free) parking, actions to make Vail a well-rounded community, economic vitality, budget and capital management and environmental sustainability. Respondents showed strong support for the town’s efforts in recycling, preserving the Gore Creek and getting rid of plastic bags. Cares did note that the younger population and full-time residents listed those things as much more of a priority than older or part-time respondents, who were more likely to list I-70 noise as an issue.
Retail Pot Approval Varies
The topic of retail marijuana especially garnered a number of comments. The survey showed that the majority of residents did not want a retail marijuana shop in the town — although that changed dramatically depending on who was responding.
“There were very strong differences in opinion on this question based on age, with strong support (69 percent in favor) among those respondents under 34 years. Conversely, there was only 14 percent support among those 65 and over,” said Cares’ report.
Collectively, residents seemed to be happy with the number and quality of events that the town hosts, the amenities offered by the town and the service offered by the town’s departments.
Assistant Managing Editor Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2927 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.