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flatlander: Big boxes are for suburbs not small towns

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Another big box in Eagle County?

What a relief.

I was wondering where I could get the cheapest food possible and plastic containers to fill the Eagle County Landfill. What a boon another big box store will be to the county! Wow.



And the way they sneaked the whole thing in without any real public debate was sheer genius. Eagle had meeting after meeting about allowing another big box store into the county, and ultimately denied the project. Surprise … it’s popping up a few miles down the road in Gypsum’s town limits. What a wise decision it was for Gypsum to annex that part of the county into it’s city limits.

The town of Gypsum’s management is much more shrewd than Eagle’s. It’s clear that by approving a Costco closer to Eagle will allow the impacts to be shouldered just a little more by folks coming downvalley to get even cheaper goods from the “other” big box in the county. Brilliant. Have a few surreptitious “executive sessions” on the matter and then railroad the project through by feeding the media with one of those “well, we’ve almost got the details hammered out on our new big box store …. whaddya’ say about that?” “Nothing? …. anyone? …. great.”



And by keeping the whole project on the down-low, Gypsum’s leaders have denied their citizens a say in the matter. Another stroke of genius; just keep the ‘little people’ out of the process altogether … they might mess it up like they did in Eagle. Excellent use of the “executive session.” What a great tool to keep the public in the dark about the future of their community.

What a sham.

Hey, let’s put a huge mega-store between two tiny towns. Hey, let’s force some small businesses to close their doors. Why heavens, why wouldn’t I stab my neighbor in the back for some cheap goods?



Maybe when he loses his job, he can accept a minimum wage job at a big box store. Health benefits, ‘sorry, you are a part-time employee, not eligible for benefits’.

Big box stores create vacuums on Main Street. What business owner wants to compete with a big box? None.

It would be a real shame for Eagle County to allow another big box store. Pretty soon, this valley will be nothing but another Broomfield inhabited by Baby Boomers in second homes and the resulting flood of the “other working class” living 12 to a trailer house.

Oh, but wait, what a boon it will be to Gypsum’s coffers. Maybe they’ll actually pay for their own police force now? What a concept? They will certainly need it with all the high-class folks coming into town to work at Costco. Perhaps they could take some of the proceeds from their newfound “sales-tax-cash-cow” and contribute to the impacts big boxes ultimately bring. That would be increased load on health care services, welfare, WIC, schools and infrastructure costs.

Oh, all of these points have valid arguments, but what you’ll have to ask yourself is, “is the Vail Valley just a suburb of Denver with ski hills or do we have our own identity?”

Seems like shoddy Grand Junction-like sprawl to me. Sloppy, really damn sloppy.

Vail Colorado


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