Can we afford gold rush of big boxes?
Where should retail developments in our valley go?If municipal governments, freed from their starvation for sales tax revenue, controlled this growth, what would they do?Would they really subsidize big box projects in place of pastures? Sure, subsidy is such an ugly word. Developers pitching their projects prefer investment. And truly, the promise of these deals by which towns give up tax collection in the short run for the sake of the longer term fits the premise.But what of the rush to build over, say, the open pastures east of Eagle or on open land west side of the airport by the Eagle River while the still half-empy Gateway with Costco and the Village of Avon, with two boxes already, offer more natural settings for commerce from that fussy viewpoint of community uniqueness, environment, wild-life, traffic and such?Is simple quality of life an afterthought to more, more, more revenue? What of the companion consequence of more, more, more expense and thus the continuing hunger for more revenue? When does that stop?Or does it stop short of full-on suburbia, wall to wall, Dotsero to Vail? And with the municipalities still hungry.Does the great race to build more big boxes end with some economic losers? Someone, after all, has to buy all this stuff. What happens to the boxes that don’t attract enough shoppers?So many questions, so little open land left to experiment with.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO