Crazed caller |

Crazed caller

Kaye Ferry

I guess when you have an opinion in this town, you’d either better keep it to yourself or be prepared for the onslaught (also see “No Donuts” below). And let me tell you, the onslaught can be pretty ridiculous. I know some of you read me regularly, while others are sporadic. But there cannot be any among you who will believe what I am about to tell you. Some hysterical woman actually called me at home after last week’s column to ask who was paying me off, Vail Resorts or Slifer Smith and Frampton? Until that call, I thought I had heard almost everything. Talk about full circle!Needless to say, she had her stories convoluted, not unusual for armchair quarterbacks. Here was her logic: As long as I was critical of the proposal before the PEC regarding the use of first floor space on Meadow Drive for a real estate office without also being critical of another change of use in Lionshead, someone must have been paying me off. I am dead serious. Me. Bought off by Vail Resorts. Just last year the Vail Trail heralded that the major love-hate relationship of all of 2003 was KF vs. VRI.why was she confused? Well it turns out that she has an ax to grind. Seems she worked for the real estate company in Lionshead that was bought out by Slifer Smith and Frampton. Then the space next door was leased by VRI as a showroom for its new products. She somehow thought that I should report on all changes of use, not just the one covered at a PEC meeting I attended.So I just have to ask, if SSF bought out another real estate office, why does that make them the bad guys? I mean, if there was a willing buyer, didn’t that mean there was also a willing seller? Why aren’t they the bad guys? She went so far as to say that SSF had usurped VRI’s role as the evil empire. Then she attacked the landlord who leased the neighboring space to VRI. To some degree, I have to agree with her on this one, and I have raised the question more than once, most recently at the very same PEC meeting in question. The move has not taken place, yet. If it does, the spirit of the zoning will be violated, if not the actual ordinance itself. To say a former retail space is to be converted to a “showroom” for the new Lionshead redevelopment is pretty bogus. We all know the intent of the zoning was to provide spaces for businesses that generate sales tax revenue. No matter how many little odds and ends are sold there to meet that criteria, we all know the purpose of that space is to move real estate.But here’s what cracks me up. This frenzied woman called me at home to tell me how I should have handled the whole scenario. I’d really like to know what she did to solve what is her perception of a problem. She could have gone to the same meeting that I did and voiced her opinion. No, she’d rather be critical after the fact than inconvenienced enough to get involved herself. Being critical is part of the American process, something that has been raised to an art form in Vail. As for me, I have little patience for those who throw stones at others while doing nothing themselves. And I feel much better for saying so.So just to finish out the debate, Lionshead, Crossroads and Meadow Drive each are covered by different zoning and are all in the process of changing the use of some of their spaces. Like it or not, use of first-floor space for offices in Crossroads is entirely legal. If you don’t like that, or any of the rest of this, get involved. Write, call, attend meetings. But don’t just sit around complaining. I’ll be out of town for the Meadow Drive appeal, if there is one. So let me say it once again now, just for the record. Study after study shows that we got it right the first time. First-floor space should be reserved for businesses that generate sales tax. No ifs, ands or buts about it. What we need to do now is expand that zoning to cover all pedestrian ways in Vail.If you don’t like that opinion, form your own, attend the meetings and write your own column. NO DONUTS: Want to know what happens when you criticize the Vail Police Department? You don’t get any donuts. No kidding. I was at Town Hall the other day when the chief came by with several boxes of Krispy Kremes. I said “Oh good,” to which he replied, “They’re for everyone but you,” and walked away. How’s that for a cliche? Did you ever see a cop movie that didn’t have at least one donut in it? MUSIC TRIVIA: On a lighter note, ever wonder how many musicians our visiting summer orchestras travel with when they come to Vail? I did, so I asked. Rochester Philharmonic, 95; Dallas Symphony, 109; New York Philharmonic, 114. Never know when that bit of info will come in handy.To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail For past columns, or search:ferry. Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a weekly column for the Daily.Vail, Colorado

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