Letters to the editor
I am writing in response to your article about the four-and-a-half hour liquor board hearing by the Eagle County commissioners with regard to the liquor application for drink! in Edwards. Dave Courtney was quoted and he cited a similar situation in Avon, which was resolved by the town of Avon to his satisfaction. My point is that this is an Edwards issue, not a countywide issue, our county commissioners have other issues that are true county issues that need their time and attention.I think this is another indication that Edwards might be ready to incorporate as a town. The Avon Town Council will be faced with similar decisions with regards to liquor licenses for the Village at Avon in the not-too-distant future. I am pleased to say that these issues will be handled by the town of Avon, and will not clutter our county commissioners’ calendar. For all of the challenges the town of Avon is having in managing the annexation agreement for the Village at Avon, all citizens of the county should realize, and be thankful that, Eagle County is still collecting all of the taxes that are due to them, without have to manage the details of the growth of the village. I have not researched the time our county commissioners have spent on issues that are specifically Edwards’ issues, not Eagle County issues, though I recall that the skateboard park originally proposed for the lower Homestead area was discussed at several county meetings, and ultimately determined that a more appropriate place would be Freedom Park for a skateboard venue. I certainly have read about the meetings that discuss the density interpretations and development rights for many parcels left in the Edwards area and I can only guess as to how time consuming these issues will become for the county administration as Edwards continues to grow and develop.All Eagle County citizens should be concerned about how much time and tax dollars are dedicated to each “town” within the county. Eagle County has many countywide departments to manage. The focus of the county should be on the administration of the departments of the sheriff, school district, transportation, airport, housing, etc., not on the day-to-day administration of the details of the “town” of Edwards.We have an election for two of the three county commissioner seats this November. The incorporation, or at least a study and discussion of the impacts of incorporation, is an important factor in this race. I hope that the candidates and the Vail Daily will pay proper attention to this issue.Amy C. PhillipsAvonAre they kidding?I am writing in regards to the “booze battle” article in the July 26 Vail Daily. Chris Irving is planning on opening a new specialty wine store in Edwards, drink! (next door to its sister store, which specializes in imported and gourmet cheeses, eat!). Let me start by saying that Irving has done a lot for this valley. He is a Vail local, and he has worked the past few years on helping us (the Eagle Country business community) increase visitors and effectively market ourselves as a community. Chris’ vision for drink! has been a longtime dream that he has worked very hard to make a reality. Based on their quotes in the article, Beverly DeMoss, Cindy Eskwith and David Courtney are simply trying to bully their way into stifling competition by abusing the system. Some points that clearly support this:• drink! Inc. isn’t opening a “liquor store” in the normal sense of the phrase. I haven’t seen any specialty wine stores contributing to “pure saturation” of the upscale boutique wine store market.• If there truly is market saturation, then the other liquor license holders should have nothing to worry about – the new business would fail if entering a saturated market.• DeMoss: “Our kids are growing up here … Should our message be .. they should be able to get as much alcohol whenever they want?” Only if it is malt liquor, Kendall Jackson or Jack Daniels and not Irving’s selections. This was one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard. • Courtney: “My main concern is just what kind of message we are sending to the community … There are more liquor stores in Edwards than churches.” These quotes were so ridiculous, I chuckled out loud when I read them. I can’t believe they believe that the existing license holders have a higher God-given right to sell alcohol based on morality than anyone else. If they were so concerned, they would give up their licenses and open churches. Hallelujah! Oh wait. Apparently there is just the morally right amount of retail liquor license holders in the area now. • It angers me that these business owners are tying up my tax dollars and our commissioners’ time trying to contest a new locally owned small business from opening.• Any other type of business would lose all its credibility and the respect of its customers if they were caught trying to force the failure of a new entrepreneur into the market. Why is this predatory behavior acceptable in our community?• We live in the United States of America. The beauty of our system is that everyone is supposed to have an equal chance at the American dream. Competition means the consumer has a choice. Dreams, new ideas for businesses and entrepreneurship should be embraced, not squashed. That’s what makes us different from places like China. In a nutshell, we live in a growing and thriving area. I think most people would agree that with growth and a strong local economy, new businesses will arrive. Why not embrace it when a member of our own community works toward something and tries to succeed? I will have a hard time supporting those businesses that go against that ideology. Ms. DeMoss, Ms. Eskwith and Mr. Courtney: Your success should be built on customer satisfaction, not liquor license hearings. I’ll be taking my business to those that focus on the former, and maybe some other readers will do the same.David M. Dempsey
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