D.R.: Ginn making its case | VailDaily.com

D.R.: Ginn making its case

Don Rogers

I don’t want to see Battle Mountain become a ski-in-out-and-golf community, complete with 1,700 homes.

But even I can see that the developer of this project, Ginn Cos., is working hard to do this right. If someone is going to take out 5,000 or so acres of forest and fill in a little valley with second homes and a hotel, well, it might as well be them.

I hate to see it. Logically, this will be one tough fight for any opposition, though. I can tell I’ll have to resort to irrational ideas about wild country staying wild even though fully 85 percent of our county is public wildland.

Ginn will even have plenty of the enviros on their side simply with the company’s commitment to finishing the cleaning up in and around Bolts Lake. They’ll clean it up thoroughly enough they’ll be able to build their hotel and golf course right there. If they hope first to build there, and second to attract anyone to play there, they’ll have to.

I went to the Turntable in Minturn Tuesday night to check out a reception they were putting on. I have to say I left pretty impressed. Of course, in the show-and-tell phase of these things, the plans never fail to look good. Later comes the hard bargaining that can erode deals to much less of a public benefit. So we’ll see. But so far, really good, as far as plusses for communities go.

No community in the High Country could use the economic boost than Minturn. What the town loses in its quaint, smalltown feel it stands to gain in pure, robust economic health not many years down the road.

I’m dimly beginning to recognize that outsiders like me looking at this harshly do not understand the attraction here. Sure, Minturn residents have some reluctance to see Battle Mountain built over with three times as many homes as the tiny town has now.

But the revenue for the town is unbelievable. They can move from almost scratching by to being able to do all sorts of things for the citizens. It would be better than living in Alaska in the oil heydays when every citizen got a fat check from the proceeds each year.

I’m sure the town will not be cutting checks to the citizens anytime soon. But having some funds to solve the traffic problem racing toward town whether Ginn builds or not would be huge. Cutting the property tax rate will become very, very important as real estate values soar. Maybe they’ll figure out how to provide tax exemptions for the longtimers who surely will find themselves priced out of their own town otherwise.

That and all the improvements the town needs, not to mention recreational amenities and all that. Minturn will become THE place to live if this goes through.

But it won’t be the Minturn of yore. I know I’ll miss that. But I don’t live there ” yet! It’s relatively easy to rue the loss of the mountain in its current state without all the benefits that would affect me directly if I lived in town.

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