Bookstore owner to run for Vail council
VAIL ” Verbatim Booksellers owner Robert Aikens has stepped forward as a candidate for Vail Town Council in November’s elections.
In announcing his candidacy Friday afternoon, he said he wants to represent small-business interests on council, see better economic development in the town and foster better marketing of the Vail Village.
He also wants to see a consensus on the controversial redevelopment of the Crossroads building, he said.
“Crossroads has divided this town immensely like I’ve never seen,” he said. “My hope is that we can come to some type of compromise agreement to get it done and done now and not five years from now.”
He said he wants to see more action on the council instead of tabling issues. He said the conference center and the West Vail fire station are issues that have taken too long to move forward.
Aikens, who lives near the golf course, first moved to the Vail Valley in 1989. In 1989, he opened his own bookstore called A Reader’s Feast Bookstore Emporium at the base of Beaver Creek. He sold that business in 1991.
After leaving the valley for eight years, he returned to Vail in 2000 to manage Verbatim in Lionshead. He bought the store in 2003 and moved it to Vail Village.
Aikens’ political experience includes serving on the board of directors of the Avon-Beaver Creek Resort Association. Also, in the early ’90s, he campaigned against Colorado’s Amendment 2, which would have prohibited protections for gays enacted by state and local governments. Voters approved the amendment, but the state Supreme Court struck it down.
The election is Nov. 8. The terms of four council members expire this year. Incumbents Diana Donovan, Farrow Hitt and Dick Cleveland have said they are going to run again. Incumbent Greg Moffet has said he is still undecided on whether he will run.
The top three vote-getters will have four-year terms. The candidate with the fourth-most votes will get a two-year term.
West Vail resident Mark Gordon has also stepped forward as a candidate.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 604, or firstname.lastname@example.org.