Avon’s mid-life crisis
Vail, Colorado CO
Avon is experiencing a mid-life crisis. Instead of buying a Porsche and wooing a girlfriend 20 years his junior to combat the helpless feeling of aging, Avon is initiating its own personal changes, and they’re big. Ten to 15 years from now, Avon won’t look anything like it does now.
After spending years as a disconnected, discombobulated town with no central planning to speak of, “the heart of the valley” is finally taking the initiative to come together, developmentally speaking.
Is it for the better? The new Town Center West plan involves more shop fronts, more parking and more sidewalks, not to mention moving roads around to suit it all. The planners are even kicking the idea around of cutting the Seasons building in half to allow more “natural light” to shine on the proposed main pedestrian zone.
The designs remind me of Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall, or the pedestrian zone in central Aspen. They even take into consideration places for hot dog stands and other street vendors on the main drag in the preliminary drawings.
I’m especially excited to see the new transportation center replace the old, dirty eyesore that is currently in use as I type this. Could you imagine what it would be like to walk from one side of Avon to the other entirely on a sidewalk? What an incredible sensation!
How far will this urban renewal go? My concern for our sweet little go-between town is that it will lose its luster. By committing millions of pounds of steel and concrete to our already cramped space, will we detract from its appeal, rather than add to it?
It sure would be sad to see Avon transmogrify into something brutish and overbuilt, such as Breckenridge.
I think it is important to keep in mind what we don’t want to become while we give ourselves a facelift. If we get too caught up in increasing the value of our personal investments on a short-term basis, then we would effectively destroy what drew us to live here in the first place. For the sake of future generations, as well as ourselves, we should imagine what Avon will look like in 50 years, and work backward from there.
I look forward to these proposed developments, provided that they are constructed correctly and intelligently. This re-development whispers promises of joining together what is now strung apart.
I just hope the people behind this enormous project maintain a socioeconomic approach to the situation. Translation: bigger isn’t always better, and if we want our kids and grandkids to grow up in Avon and love it like we do, then we’ve got to follow our hearts and our heads, not just our wallets.
Let’s come together as a community to create a community. If you want to see the plans, check out the Town of Avon’s Web site: avon.org. Peruse the plans, ask questions and get involved.
It is our responsibility to work together to create a place where, 50 years from now, people will see Avon in all of its splendor and say to themselves “Wow. I want to live there!”
Dana Jurich of Avon writes a weekly column for the Daily. Send comments or questions to email@example.com.