Letters to the editor
Let’s stop our whining about the new parking charges in Vail. I moved here from a San Francisco, where you didn’t blink at $7.50 for 20 minutes to park with a $36 daily maximum. So call me crazy, but the carping is a bit much for a buck here, a buck there.
Compare our experience in Vail with Aspen. In Aspen, there is no free parking anywhere, ever. For that matter, there’s no parking. If you can find somewhere to park, first you have to find change, then you have to guess how long you’ll be parked. Once you’ve found change, you have to find and figure out the pay station located somewhere on the block you’ve parked. Then you have to go back to your car and put your receipt in view on your dash board, check your watch and go. If you don’t return in time, you’ll get a $20 ticket. Welcome to Aspen, have a nice day.
Recently, I watched someone’s car get ticketed as the breathless owner, having just sprinted back to his car, got into an argument with the parking officer who ticketed him while he was breaking a bill for change in a nearby store so he could to pay to park. The officer, immovable of course, gave him the standard excuse that the ticket couldn’t be voided once it’d been written. After watching this exchange, I see that this same officer had just dumped a $20 ticket on my windshield while I ran into a store to buy something for 10 minutes.
I am spending money ($58) in a store during off season in a town that is economically on its knees and bleeding from the eyeballs (we have nothing to complain about over here) and this is the treatment I get. Pretty cheeky. The Aspen experience.
My advice for those of us using the Vail structure: Leave a few dollar bills in your car and deal with it.
Here, we breeze into the structure and go do what we want. When we’re finished, we have smiling faces in a booth we drive up to who we pay when we’re done with our trips to the village rather than having to guess how long we might be and pay before we even commence activities in town or on the mountain.
Even if we run late, we’re still coming out ahead of whatever you’ve had to feed an Aspen meter, plus the $20ticket. We get to pay with anything we want: plastic, bills a handful of change. We have prepay cards. We have a separate lane to fly through with our ticket for those quick trips which is also free. Parking is free more times of the year than not. We don’t have to pay a separate parking enforcement staff. The changes to our system are much more guest-, local- and employee-friendly than anything Aspen has come up with even with the new fees in place.
The big T-shirt in Aspen is “Vail Sucks” (they hate us over there). Um, no. Aspen, well, I won’t say it.
All that is good
This is a sad time for our community, marked by the departure of Andy Daly from Vail Resorts.
In a time when investor confidence has been deeply marred by executive fraud, embezzling and deception, Andy has represented all that is good and just in corporate leadership.
Through the many changes in Vail Resorts over the past decade, Andy has been steadfast in his passion for the industry, his employees and for our community. He represented honesty, compassion, sincerity and refinement in the upper ranks of Vail Resorts.
The board of directors may think they are improving the bottom line in the short run, when in fact they are losing something much more valuable, something that could never be measured in dollars. As a community, we are losing our voice in what was once a community corporation.
Thank you, Andy, for all you’ve done for us in your years at Vail Resorts. God speed, and don’t be a stranger!
A big thank you to all those who helped me throughout my accident and following surgery on Oct. 12 is necessary for the paramedics and emergency room staff of the Vail Valley Medical Center. You made a painful, difficult time easier.
I also want to thank all friends and family members who really took care of my needs during recovery, with a special thank you to Tom and Shelly Cigno – two of the most generous, caring people in this valley. I am looking forward to recovering soon, and will always be grateful for all of the wonderful people there are in Eagle County. Thank you so much!