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Laying it on the line in Lionshead

Randy Wyrick
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OK, we agree the Lionshead parking structure needs an overhaul worse than anything this side of a two-car commie motorcade.

Our planning pals in Vail are considering bids from two guys, both of whom love their mommas and families, to knock down the Lionshead parking structure and replace it with something more closely resembling a Taj Mahal for Toyotas.

Harry Frampton and Ross Perot Jr. are locked in a tag-team cage match to determine who gets to make a mountain of money building a parking structure, a couple of hotels and a conference center. No secrets here, so any whining that the process is secretive will get you duct-taped to the inside of a guitar amp at a Megadeth concert.

The rhetoric, however, might be a little overheated already.

Frampton’s bid package calls the Lionshead parking structure “The Berlin Wall between the bahns” and the “Great Wall of the Gore.” We’re left only to ask the question, “How on God’s green Earth did we ever survive this long with such an affront daily assaulting our senses and sensibilities?”

The Berlin Wall between the bahns?

The Great Wall of the Gore?

We like Professor Frampton. He does dandy work.

But I don’t think anyone has ever been shot or imprisoned for trying to make their way from Lionshead to Vail Village.

You have your geophysical barriers ” your mountains and rivers and deserts, your Great Barrier Reef and your Barrier Islands. You have your man-made barriers ” such as your Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall, your Great Wall of China, your wall between Israel and everything around them and everyone who wants to nuke them ’til they glow, and your Green Monster in Boston’s Fenway Park. Some are more effective than others. Your big fence along the U.S./Mexico border is mostly symbolic.

The gates to the entrance of Beaver Creek’s Strawberry Park are pretty darned effective when it comes to keeping out the riff-raff.

You also have your trade barriers, your pain barriers, your digital barriers, your psychological barriers that are being blamed largely on your parents or middle-aged white guys in general, your language barriers that keep some of us from climbing the ladder into a more affluent lifestyle, and my personal favorite ” your socio-economic barrier with which The Man keeps us down.

OK, the Lionshead parking structure has all the personality of a Teflon skillet.

But the Berlin Wall between the bahns? The Great Wall of the Gore?

Students of history will recall that it was not busting holes in the Great Wall that allowed the Mongol hordes to roll through to Shanghai. It was Mongols bribing the gate guards who let them through. You don’t have to assemble an invading army of pirates and profiteers to get from one side of Vail to the other. Besides, the buses are more reliable.

Are we to assume, then, that if the Lionshead parking structure is the Great Wall of the Gore, prospective developers are willing to bribe the gatekeepers ” in this case Vail’s town planners ” to open holes in the planning process to launch their invasion? Never. Frampton and Perot are stand-up guys, and the planners are a fairly incorruptible lot, like accountants and most Rush Limbaugh listeners.

Nope. It’ll be more like a metaphorical Harry’s Heavy Haulers. Frampton will be loading the whole shebang onto his shoulders and carrying it, and us, into a Camelot-like future.

Ross Perot Jr., beloved offspring of the only presidential candidate who ever made any sense, didn’t mention anything about Berlin or walls. He wants to build a couple of hotels that promise to be “uncompromising,” “bespoke” and “seductive.” Their target market is 25- to 49-year-olds with enough room left on their credit card to finance a stay in a suite more pricey per night than the gross national product of most Third World countries.

When it’s all said and done, we implore the recently-deposed Anti-Crossroads Crusaders to leave this one alone and let ’em build it. The Crusaders cost Vail about $30,000 for last week’s electoral folly.

Save your money. That’ll just about cover a two-night stay in the new Lionshead Parking Structure Palace, whoever builds it.

While Randy Wyrick thinks “Great Wall of the Gore” and Berlin Wall between the bahns” are pretty silly, he couldn’t come up with anything better. Send your suggestions to rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

Vail, Colorado


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