‘Keep the sagebrush’
EAGLE – Mayor Jon Stavney said people are drawn to traditional towns like Eagle for “niche” shopping experiences. “Alpine Ambiance isn’t going to be put out of business by Wal-Mart,” he said, referring to a local boutique.The town is debating a developer’s proposal for a large commercial and residential development on the east end of town. The so-called Red Mountain Ranch could include a large Wal-Mart-style retailer. Annie Colby, manager of the Eagle Pharmacy, said many of her customers are specifically trying to avoid Wal-Mart and other big-boxes. She suggested the town offer tax breaks to locally owned and operated stores.Arlene Montag, the owner of a title company in downtown Eagle, questioned whether citizens should dictate which businesses can come into a community.”Nobody protected me from competition. That’s part of business,” she said, “You have to be the business that people go to.” Montag added that future sales tax revenues might be an important factor in keeping property tax levels down. Stavney said sales tax revenues fuel the town budget. The town currently collects about $2.4 million a year in sales taxes.Mar Houston Brown, who lives east of Eagle on Highway 6, in the direction the Red Mountain Ranch project would be developed, said she is not a fan of the concept.”Let’s keep the sagebrush,” she suggested.Board member Kraige Kinney also said sales tax revenues are a major factor for town leaders when considering a project such as Red Mountain Ranch. “Even at its best, Broadway will never generate more than 25 percent of the town’s sales tax,” he said, referring to the main downtown street.Vail, Colorado
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