Amy Phillips, Avon Town Council candidate
Amy Phillips, 44, is an advertising sales representative for Vail-Beaver Creek magazine. She is also a member of the Avon Comprehensive Plan Committee.Phillips said Avon needs a better representative from the hospitality and retail merchant segment.”I provide a good balance for the growth that the community needs, as well as I’m a good representative of the year-round working population of Avon,” she said. Phillips is also a member of the Avon Comprehensive Plan Committee, said she wants to be on the Town Council to work on the plan’s implementation.
by Veronica WhitneyDaily Staff WriterQ. What do you expect to be your job as a council member?A. As a council member I will be responsible for maintaining a balanced budget, including determining when capital projects will be implemented. I will work to strengthen communications and relationships with all stakeholders, including Avon citizens and business owners. Relationships also need strengthening with business entities, such as Beaver Creek Resort Company, VRI, the Village at Avon and other potential developers. There are several countywide programs – such as transportation, recreation, open space and education – that Avon town council members can and should work diligently to insure that Avon is a good partner in the implementation and improvement of these programs.Q. How would you manage growth in the town?A. The majority of the growth potential in Avon exists in three key areas. The largest is the Village at Avon, which has extensive rights under the current agreement. The second area includes the confluence, lot 61 and other parcels between the river and the post office – they all have agreements as well. It is likely that these developers will come to the Town Council for amendments to their agreements. I will support changes that have a benefit to the community, not just for the developer. The third area with likely potential for re-development is the Christy Sports building, Cassidy’s and the Annex area. During the process of revising the comprehensive plan the committee has identified several improvements that could be implemented by developers, including straightening the street grid, creating parking structures and incorporating housing/hotel within the Avon town core. Q. What are the three most pressing issues facing the town?A. Revitalization of the village core.B. Creating a seamless transition to the Village at Avon near Chapel Square.C. Maintaining balanced budgets by growing sales tax and other revenue sources.Q. Locals have voiced concerns about transportation. Would you support expanding the transportation system around town?I support maintaining a free transportation system that is used by the citizens and guests. I believe that the town should study all existing transportation routes and analyze the rider profile on the existing route. I support a survey of all residents not using the system to see when they would use a system, i.e., for skiing, shopping, commuting to work, etc. Once these studies are completed then a plan could be developed including The Village at Avon for funding for the expansion of the system.The town’s transportation department has had good success with the revenue from Swift Gulch services and I believe that private local charter service could be an important revenue stream during the summer months that would further reduce the support from the general revenue funds for the transportation system. Q. What do you see in the future for the Village at Avon?A. In addition to my comments about the transition to the Village from the town core and transportation, I have the following comments:A. Pedestrian and bicycle connections need to be completed as soon as possible.B. Explore incentives to encourage development to start at the transition from the town core to the Village near Chapel Square.C. Finalize the location of the school site.D. Work with the developer and community to define and plan the cultural center, ice arena and special events venues that are called for in the plan.Q. How could the town profit from its proximity to Beaver Creek?A. The town of Avon needs to position the town as the “Gateway to Beaver Creek.” There are many portions of the town core that are ready for development as businesses that will cater to the destination guests and provide vitality and services that will benefit the growing year-round citizen population.Avon provides a supply of guest beds that are available at a more affordable rate than Beaver Creek. These rooms are currently underutilized throughout much of the year. I support participating in a cooperative marketing plan with Beaver Creek, and I can provide insight into benchmarks to monitor the returns on such campaigns. There is opportunity through expanding the existing recreational activities, events and services to increase the services available to our residents by better capitalizing on the tourism industry.Q. What can the town do to make it more convenient to walk around?A. It is important that all additional development and re-development on the valley floor keep the car subservient to pedestrian. All town core development and re-development plans need to include pedestrian-connection plans that may include streets that are narrower for vehicular traffic with wider pedestrian pathways in the town core. Parking structures should be considered in these plans.There are plans in the capitol budget that incorporate a walk/bike/stroller lane on several existing roads through a street widening in Wildridge and down Hurd Lane. A townwide survey of additional opportunities for pedestrian crossing should be conducted. Veronica Whitney can be reached at email@example.com.Vail Colorado
by Veronica Whitney, Daily Staff WriterAVON – Amy Phillips believes her 17 years in the hotel business in the valley could come in handy on the Avon Town Council.”Having first-hand knowledge of what the guests who are coming to this community are looking for would be beneficial,” said Phillips, one of six candidates vying for one of three seats at the Avon Town Council. “I would like to represent some people from a different perspective – the guest perspective.”Phillips, 44, who now sells advertisement for Vail-Beaver Creek magazine, said she is running not because people haven’t been doing a good job on council, but because some friends encouraged her to run, she said. “It’s important to make sure there’s enough of a choice. We have six candidates who are very diverse and different,” Phillips said. “The Town Council has done a good job in certain areas. I want to provide a voice for people who otherwise wouldn’t have one.”Catering to resort guests is among the things to be improved, Phillips said.”Avon needs to do a revitalization on the village core, and having someone on council who is in touch with the people who are coming to the area can help,” said Phillips, who has lived in Avon 11 years.Walking to workTo Phillips, who sits on the Avon Comprehensive Plan committee – which reviews future growth – the redevelopment of the town’s core is going to be vital given what’s happening on the east end of town at the Village at Avon, the largest retail development in the county.”Redevelopment) will be essential in order to keep Avon’s tax base at a manageable level,” she said.Transportation is another issue Phillips said needs some attention.”Many people who work at Wal-Mart don’t have cars. They’re probably walking to work at 5 a.m.,” Phillips said. “Transportation is a countywide issue – in order to make it an affordable community, it’s important to streamline the countywide bus system.”To accomplish that goal, the county and towns need to work together, she said.”We need to make it were it is more convenient to live and work in Avon,” she added. “There are a lot of people who live and work in Avon, but not as many as there could be.”East end representationPhillips moved to Colorado with Hyatt Hotels in 1985 and to Vail in 1986. She started at the Westin Vail in June 1987, where she worked as a conference services director until July 1996. She lived in East Vail, Wildridge, Eagle-Vail and West Vail until 1993, when she and her husband and moved to Avon. She continued in corporate event and meeting planning until June 2003. “Part of my decision to get out of that industry was a desire to be more involved in the community,” said Phillips, who now sells advertising for the Vail-Beaver Creek magazine.Avon architect, Paul Miller, 43, said he’s excited that Phillips, his neighbor, will represent the eastern end of Avon, which hasn’t had much representation on council in the past years, though two other candidates – Kristi Ferraro and Tamra Underwood – also live in the area. “(Phillips) is very intelligent and has a strong grasp of the issues at hand,” Miller said. “She’s able to assimilate those issues and put them in perspective.”Phillips also has been a volunteer event chairman for the Grand Taste at the Taste of Vail for the past 12 years. In 2002, she started volunteering for the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens and has been on the board of directors ever since. She is currently the vice president of the gardens.”I’m always very well prepared for a meeting,” she said. “Being on the comprehensive plan committee has been an interesting process. Because of my involvement in that process, I think I understand the issues in front of us and I’m well prepared to make a decision.”Tracy Stewart, an Avon resident, said Phillips is a great choice for council.”She’s very honest, up front, hard working and self motivated,” Stewart said. “I trust her work and her judgment.”Staff writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Amy PhillipsAge: 44Family: Husband, Bill Phillips; stepchildren, Greg, 22, and Holly, 24; grandson Izaac. Puppies, Samson, Xena & IsisPlace of birth: Minneapolis, Minn.Profession: After 20 years in hotel and event planning, I recently changed careers to advertising sales for Vail-Beaver Creek Magazine.Recent favorite book: I read a lot. From Dean Koontz to Pat Conroy. Anything on the Oprah list and classics from Ayn Rand, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Tolstoy.Favorite food: What ever Bill cooks is the best. Crab cakes, lobster Bisque, green chili, lamb curry, you name it. He cooked professionally for several years and if he makes it, it is great. I absolutely love really good cheese with dried fruit and nuts.Favorite beverage: Wine, usually red.Hobbies: Snowboarding, snowmobiling, gardening, softball and reading.Where did you meet your husband? We met at the Westin Resort in Vail, now the Cascade Hotel and Spa. It was 1990 or so, Bill was sous chef in Alfredo’s, I was in conference services, we have been together since BB&B on April 2, 1991. We were married at 4 Eagle Ranch in Sept. 1992.What two people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sir Isaac Newton.