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Letters to the editor

I attended the Vail Town Council meeting this past Tuesday, where the central issue was the Crossroads project. I understand that there is resistance to this project among various members of our community for various reasons. And I am all for the differing of opinions. That is what makes a democracy work and thrive.I am, however, writing to comment on the closing remarks issued by Dianne Donovan, as I was baffled and confounded by the logic (or perhaps lack thereof) for her opposition to the project. As part of her remarks, she explained that she has a large group of family members coming to Vail this month and in speaking with them, they are all excited to go fishing, biking, and hiking and to take advantage of the numerous outdoor opportunities afforded by our mountain community. None of them, she went on to explain, expressed an interest in bowling or going to the movies or playing in an arcade a comment which I think very few would find surprising. It should be apparent to most anyone that families do not come to Vail for these indoor activities. Simply put, they come for the mountains and all that they have to offer. That, however, does not mean that these same families would not take advantage of the proposed facilities once they were here. Perhaps you could engage in a little experiment, Councilwoman Donovan. While your family is in town, ask the kids if theyd have any interest in going bowling or seeing a movie one evening. Id be shocked if they did not want to engage in these activities once they were here, in spite of the fact that none of them had expressed interest prior to their arrival.Dont get me wrong. Vail is a wonderful town with plenty to offer. But as Councilwoman Donovan expressed, the mountains and outdoor activities are our main attraction and without them, I highly doubt folks would come from across the globe to visit us. It is the mountains that initially attract people to coming here, but hopefully it is the town, its amenities and character and our community that keeps them coming back year after year. Councilwoman Donovan then went on to express her agitation and resentment over the faction that has called her and those who dont support Crossroads old fogies resistant to change, or something along those lines (thats a paraphrase of her words, not mine). She explained that she resented that such a suggestion would be made in light of the amount of development the Town Council has already approved. But Councilwoman Donovan, I think that may be the point exactly, and you just may be missing it. Projects have been greenlighted left and right, among them the approval of the Sonnenalp expansion and the construction of the Vail Plaza and the Four Seasons. All of these projects will certainly improve the town and its appeal to tourists, but none will offer any public utility beyond the tax dollars they will generate (which is obviously a vital component of our towns success). The Crossroads project is one of the only proposals that will offer tangible benefits to our town and help to maintain our sense of community. It will offer a center for our families and their children, a community plaza, which would welcome events such as the Street Beat concerts and the free movie showings. From listening to the dissenting members of the Council and Councilwoman Donovan in particular, it seems that if the Crossroads proposal was simply a scaled-down condominium complex with no public amenities, this project would easily pass. But is that really what this town needs? In Rod Slifers closing statements, he explained his support for the intentions of the project and the benefits it would offer, yet he said that he still had some reservations about it, which is fair enough. But Councilwoman Donovan seems to have made it apparent that she has little interest in helping to bring this project and the amenities it will afford to our community. And it is because of this stance that I question if she really is in tune with our community at large.While at the meeting, I was looking at the posters from the Vail Valley Foundation, which adorn the walls. I was struck by how remarkably appropriate a quotation printed on one of them was. It was by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus and it read, Nothing endures but change. Jason KatzmanVail

In response to the recent articles in the Daily regarding short- term rentals in Wildridge, there needs to be some clarification. First, the town is proposing not allowing WEEKLY rentals in Wildridge for more than six occupants. Lets not confuse this with monthly rentals or even a weekly rental to a small group or family. We live near Mr. Huffeldts property and he has rented his home to consistently large groups (his Web site boasts it sleeps 16) and he did rent it out every single week this past winter. He has a commercial Web site advertising the rental, and the property is deeded in the name of a business. This is hardly a family second home this is a business for Mr. Huffeldt.Mr. Huffeldts recent letter to the editor said, It could affect my property values. As for property values, how can not being able to rent out your home on a weekly basis to large numbers of vacationers help your value and the neighborhood values? Ask any realtor or property buyer: No one wants to purchase a home in Wildridge next to a hotel or weekly short term rental that allows for large groups of people. Image if your Wildridge neighbor rented out his or her home to large(more than six), partying groups of vacationers on a weekly basis. If you want a weekly rental for large groups of people, buy in Beaver Creek or Vail where its common, not in a pure residential neighborhood like Wildridge.John Searle Avon

Dear VPAA Friends & Supporters: We are SO deeply grateful for your support of our upcoming production of Busgy Malone, Jr. ! Thanks to friends and sponsors such as you, we look forward to another wonderful experience for our cast, crew, and audiences. As we approach our 10th year of quality programs, we look forward to contining and expanding theater arts opportunities, all thanks to you, our community sponsors.Once again, know how much we appreciate your support. Hope to see you next weekend!Annah ScullyColin MeiringBeth Swearingenand the cast and crew of VPAA’s Bugsy Malone, Jr. Vail Colorado


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