Vail Town Council talks about an MMA event, creek bugs and cycling
Board: Vail Town Council
Meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 7, regular meeting
Present: Kevin Foley, Greg Moffet, Jenn Bruno, Kim Langmaid, Jen Mason, Dick Cleveland, Mayor Dave Chapin
A mixed martial arts fighting event in Vail?
Who they talked to: Members of the Vail Commission on Special Events
What they talked about: During an overview discussion of the commission’s plans for 2018, there was a good bit of conversation about a Legacy Fighting Alliance event in May. The commission agreed to provide $17,500 for the event. Organizers had requested $25,000.
What they said: The idea of a fighting event in Vail drew questions from council members about whether such an event fits into the town’s brand.
“At face value … it doesn’t fit the Vail culture,” Langmaid said.
Commission chairman Barry Davis replied that board members had similar reservations, but were ultimately swayed by the promise of TV exposure and the opportunity to host an event in a usually quiet month.
Moffet added he isn’t a fan of fighting sports, but acknowledged that the town’s customer demographic is different in May than it is in July.
Commission board member Mark Gordon said the board put the burden of proof on the promoter to make the case for an event in Vail.
Gordon added that the AXS TV channel has a lot of viewers, adding that the promoters have also promised to work with local martial arts schools and wrestling teams.
“We were led to believe that with a big success, they won’t need our (future) help,” Gordon said. “This could lead to other events we don’t have to fund.”
What’s next? Get ready to rumble.
Update on Gore Creek macroinvertabrate populations
Who they talked to: David E. Rees of Timberline Aquatics, Inc.
What they talked about: Rees’ presentation to the council contained some good news regarding macroinvertabrate — small bug — life in the creek. A decline in the bug populations has led to a decline in populations of other aquatic life.
Those declines led the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in 2013 to declare Gore Creek an “impaired” stream. Town officials, along with the Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, the Eagle River Watershed Council and others, have developed plans to improve the stream’s health.
Rees had some good news about those programs. There’s been improvement in aquatic life at several spots along the creek.
On the other hand, Rees said the best water quality in the creek is found upstream from populated areas.
“When a stream goes into a city, all kinds of things are going on,” Rees said, naming storm runoff and pesticide and fertilizer use as factors that can affect bug life in the creek.
And, while some improvement is always welcome, Rees noted that progress can be fleeting.
What they said: Chapin said the survey results have him “cautiously optimistic” about the success of various efforts in the Restore the Gore program, and encouraged everyone to “keep up the good work.”
Early discussion of hosting a stage of the Colorado Classic bike race series
Who they talked to: Vail Valley Foundation CEO Mike Imhof
What they talked about: Imhof told council members the foundation is in the earliest stages of discussions with Colorado Classic promoters about bringing to Vail one, and possibly two, stages of the four-stage event.
Imhof said the series — which evolved out of the now-defunct USA Pro Challenge races — is dedicated to holding two stages in the Denver area.
Hosting a stage or two over the third weekend in August would be a good fit for the valley and the foundation, Imhof said. The foundation is still in the planning stages of a music festival that weekend, and Imhof said a stage or two of pro cycling could add more vibrancy to town at that time.
But hosting race stages is an expensive proposition, Imhof said. Hosting two stages could require an estimated commitment of $900,000.
Imhof said there are a number of questions to answer before bidding on a stage. The most important element would be keeping the race in town.
“A time trial or a circuit race keeps energy (in town) for hours,” he said.
Another issue to solve would be a solid commitment from series organizers to keep stages in Vail for at least three to five years, Imhof said.
What they said: Chapin said he’d be interested in participating only if the events bring increases in lodging nights for the town, so a two-day event would be better.
Cleveland noted there aren’t really any U.S. riders capturing the public’s attention at the moment. That could make it hard to spend a quarter of the town’s event budget on one item.
Moffet agreed, saying “I love the idea of a two-day stage race, but we’ve got to talk about price.”
What’s next? Council members said they’d be receptive to further discussions about bringing the race series to town.
“We have a rich history of cycle racing in Vail,” Chapin said. “Let’s look at some more numbers.”
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Lindsey Vonn no longer has a home in Vail, but a big piece of her heart will always remain here.