Lookin’ like cheap seats | VailDaily.com

Lookin’ like cheap seats

Don Rogers

How to put this gently? The latest idea for a gondola rising out of Avon appears to be something short of “world class.”

On the cheap – if multimillion dollar investments can ever be characterized that way – looks more like it.

Instead of a Lionshead-like system rising to Strawberry Park with stops at the Tarnes apartments and Ritz-Carlton, a lesser tram would hop just to the Tarnes. Then skiers could have to take a high-speed quad from there past the Ritz and, if they wished, take yet another to connect with the top of Strawberry the lift.

It’s early yet to draw conclusions. Vail Resorts isn’t even ready to talk about the idea. But a swift trip back to the drawing board would seem to be in order.

Gen. Politician

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark, now the constantly clarifying candidate for president, sounded more like a hawk during a quick visit to the Vail Valley last March.

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Of course, that was before he dove into the race as a Democrat.

Actually, he made a lot of sense back then, explaining – or seeming to explain – that Saddam had to go, but a lot more time and energy needed to be invested into developing a true coalition.

The United States is paying the price for impatience, and President Bush does have reason for worry about that second term. That is, if the Democrats can muster a truly viable candidate from the Nondescript Nine. Or outside this current bunch.

Here’s a telling line from the general as he headed out of town: “It’s a little late to say we made a mistake, that Saddam isn’t that big of a problem, that he’s not a threat to the security of this nation and others, and we’ll let him stay. That’s dream works. Saddam cannot be allowed a victory, and anything that allows him to stay in power is a victory.”

Now that sounds more like a general. To his credit, Clark also took pains to explain that the rebuilding phase would be key.

Too bad he turned into just another politician about as fast as it took to declare his candidacy.

Helping out

This week, the Vail Resorts Development Corp. got their hands dirty.

Oh, it’s all good. They went to work Thursday and Friday on the Habitat for Humanity house under construction in Eagle, setting a fine example for community service.

Crews of 15 pitched in each day, benefitting from some practical application in the building arts.