Beware of Battle Mountain impacts |

Beware of Battle Mountain impacts

Jared West
Red Cliff

There has been a lot said about Ginn’s development. Mostly, from what I’ve read, it has been focused on the positives and little to say about the whole reality and impact of the development. I should preface this by saying that A) I am not unilaterally opposed to development, and B) I am not entirely opposed to this development. I am however an advocate of intelligent development. I feel like as a resident of Red Cliff and the Upper Eagle River Valley, it is important to look at the project in its entirety and to be sure that this is something that will help our community both intrinsically and financially.

Our society has made decisions based on empty promises, rosy hues and lack of discourse, and I don’t want to see that happen to this community.

Minturn has remained a very genuine town. People go to work, walk their dogs, and it still feels like a real town. Minturn is not just a place to own a home lived in for a week out of the year. With this development could come the post-modern ghostification of Minturn and Red Cliff, turning the last remaining genuine mountain towns of Eagle County into another resort location. As the years go on we, the residents, wont be the ones using the new everything. There will be less and less of the locals who can live here. Minturn and Red Cliff will become places to work and not home anymore.

A resort of that magnitude will produce large economic and infrastructural needs. It will need a large amount of water, which will be harder to obtain, a large amount of traffic, which Highway 24 can’t handle, and a large labor market, which has increasing demand without an increase in supply.

The current economical climate cannot support a project of the magnitude that Battle Mountain would produce. New construction has an impact on a local economy, and the Vail Valley has a sheltered economy of its own that is uniquely vulnerable.

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What the Battle Mountain resort could do is flood the market with inventory of homes over a short time period; at the same time projects in Vail and Beaver Creek are also putting new units on the market. With so many units available without a growth in demand, it would force the real estate prices down elsewhere in the valley, losing the stability that we have here that others have not.

We all know that our housing prices are very high, because the availability is so low. It’s pretty simple supply and demand, but the market is changing even up here. There are many homes that are on the market and are not selling. It’s only a matter of time before sellers can’t hold out any more, and they will have to lower their prices.

At that point the prices will fall here just as the rest of the country. As I stated earlier, I am not opposed to the Battle Mountain development, it sounds like a good project, but I am not convinced that the impact of the resort on our community is the impact we want. The great thing about it is that we have ability to make it the community we want it to be.

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