Columnists spar over ‘facts’ |

Columnists spar over ‘facts’

Michael Cacioppo

My friend Kaye Ferry is losing it. She is losing all concept of reality. I have warned her about this on a number of occasions, while laughing and joking with her in the back row of the Vail council hall. I guess the fact that I attended these meetings doesn’t qualify me, in her eyes, to comment on the proposed Vail conference center that I helped beat back in 1983 with its unfair tasxation that homeowners paid, and then helped pass in 2002 when the taxation was primarily the user pays. Unfortunately, there seems to be no cure to stop her mission to destroy a major opportunity to move the Vail economy forward. Kaye wrote in her column Wednesday that I have written “inaccuracies” about the conference center, yet she fails to quote my words and respond to those words. Then she suggests that because I don’t currently legally live inside the town of Vail boundaries, which may be rectified soon, my 30 years in Eagle County, most of them sleeping in Vail, don’t qualify me to comment on the center. The worst of her comments was a total falsehood suggesting that I have not spent “even a moment” at the conference committee meetings, which is blatantly false and totally disregards the council meetings I have attended regarding the subject, and the investigation I have made regarding the center. So to enlighten my readers on how I responded to Kaye, I enclose the following excerpts of e-mails to between us this week. Enjoy reading:– On Nov 1 at11:34 p.m., I wrote to Kaye: “We can debate the issue, but you clearly misstated the facts claiming I have not spent ‘even a moment’ at those meetings. You can ask anyone on the committee if I have been there. I have, on several occasions. Once, at one of the meetings, I told them they could be sued under TABOR for not building the center if someone filed suit within a 4-year period, as allowed by TABOR. I informed them that TABOR requires a 10 percent interest payment, along with the money the town has collected during that period.”You are also misstating what Wisor said. Wisor said, per Matt Mire, the Vail town attorney, that if the center didn’t pay its way, the town could close the doors and quit running the facility. Check it out on both. Then, please publicly apologize and admit I am right. Michael”On Nov 2 at 9:22 a.m., Kaye wrote to me: “You haven’t been to a committee meeting since Jewitt was chairman and he was still on council. In fact, the TABOR debate happened when he was chair. And I did not misstate Dee Wisor, another meeting where you weren’t there, but I was. Of course they can close the doors, but he also said at last night’s meeting that they – the town – would be responsible for operational shortages. K” On Nov 2 at 9:40 a.m., I wrote to Kaye: “So, now you are fudging on your allegation that I have not spent ‘even a moment’ at the meetings to say now that I ‘haven’t been to a committee meeting since Jewitt was chairman,’ which proves I am correct when I said you misstated the truth. “Now you admit that they can just ‘close the doors,’ which indicates that if a worst-case scenario of low snow for years were to occur, projections might not be met. Well, Kaye, the summer conference business is not affected by no-snow years, period. And guess what, Kaye, Vail Mountain has extensive snow-making to assist in the low snow years. We’ve only had only a couple of seriously late starts to the ski season. “The town will have almost four years of tax collection (approximately $12 million) to cover any initial shortages projected by me. My extensive knowledge of the Vail meeting business far exceeds yours, as you have been in the coffee business, not the convention business. It amazes me, that as the chairman of a business community organization, you are unable to grasp the necessity of filling hotel rooms in all seasons. It also amazes me that you cannot grasp that, even if the conference center were to only benefit the larger hotels, which is not accurate, that the smaller hotels would also benefit because others would have to migrate to them for overflow. The fact is that if there were serious operational shortages, the doors could be closed, and because the building would still be owned by Vail and not the bondholders, according to Town Attorney Matt Mire, then Vail could allow a private enterprise such as Marriott or Sheraton, etc., to bid to take it over for a fee, and they would be the operators, and the town would collect rent. Why can’t you see that this is a win-win deal for the people of Vail at extremely low risks? It doesn’t get any better than this! What kind of entrepreneur wouldn’t take even this minimal risk? Michael” Kaye’s comments might hold water if she was talking about someone who rarely attends government meetings. In the last 30 years, few, including most politicians, have attended more (Vail) meetings than I have. My record of attending meetings, researching, asking probing questions, etc., speaks for itself! If Kaye doesn’t want a conference center in Vail, fine. She just shouldn’t continue to mislead the public about why she doesn’t want it.Michael Cacioppo, a former radio talk show host and newspaper publisher, is managing director of LLC, a local travel planning consultant on vacations to Mexico. He can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 280-5555.Vail, Colorado

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