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Don’t turn Vail into Denver

Bob Louthan

Having read with interest the various reactions to Vail Resorts’ headquarters relocation, including in particular the thoughtful assessment in the Vail Daily column by my friend Don Cohen, I will weigh in with my own thoughts which include a mild rebuttal…

Cohen states the case for the VRI relocation case well. Indeed, it’s a truism in the Corporate World that headquarters seek an urban, metropolitan location where there are broader resources to aid their growth. However, I sincerely beg to differ and disagree with Don’s latter paragraphs where he attempts to make a case for accelerated and diversified business growth in Eagle County.

Cohen advocates a “wake-up call” to more vigorously seek diversified businesses to locate here. We do not need growth advocates nor such a wake-up call, we need growth curtailment advocates! With the currently projected growth and zoning approvements already approved, who wants efforts aimed at increasing growth and diversification?!



Although long retired from a business career in the corporate world, I can sympathize only to a very limited degree with Don, other growth advocates, and resort and mountain business owners who long for a more year-round economy and a more diversified market economy here in Eagle County.

Has Don stopped to realize what actually achieving his “wake-up call” growth objectives would mean to Eagle County? It would amount to virtually duplicating another “Denver” up here. After all, folks, this is a Mountain Community! Please do not even try to make it into a metropolitan area.



Has Don or other unbridled growth advocates stopped to realize that the imagined utopia of achieving their growth aspirations, or “successes” in achieving a more year-round economy, will only bring more competition in which they may or may not do any better financially than they do now? Chances are existing businesses would not do as well, as the new competition would likely be larger, more sophisticated and better financed.

Think about it. Be careful what you wish for. Be satisfied with running the very best, most efficient and prosperous suburban, mountain resort-oriented seasonal business possible by matching it to the existing market. Do not try to make Eagle County into a large metro area.

If such growth advocates seek a larger business or to personally advance up the “corporate ladder,” they should expand into other mountain resort communities or, better, move to a large metropolitan area where such opportunities abound. If any wake-up call is needed, it is a call to more effectively curtail and manage and channel the inevitable growth, not wildly encourage it! In short, do not metro-fornicate the Vail and Eagle Valleys.



I offer similar advice to my friend Don Cohen.

Bob Louthan

Vail


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