Media odds and other ends
December 16, 2003
This is one of those columns filled with odds and ends. In general, everyone’s on their good behavior during the holiday season, never quite willing to take the chance that there might truly be a Santa Claus after all. So it’s a good time to fill you in on the miscellaneous.
“Vail Loves You’
You might recall the ruckus last year caused by the media who thrive on sensationalizing anything they can. They took a concern by the merchants over parking and turned it into “Vail hates the Front Range.”
Well the Vail merchants decided this year to tackle the issue head on with a “Vail Loves You” campaign. Through partnership with Vail Resorts, the Vail Chamber and Business Association has launched a $65,000 promotion aimed at enticing the Front Range skier into sticking around after skiing and enjoying our town. Forty-four Vail merchants each paid $400 to participate in offering many free items and lots of discounts on everything from food to lodging to retail with the TOV offering a free day of parking any Wednesday.
We hope it sends the message once and for all that the Vail community has always and will continue to value our neighbors to the east and appreciates the effort it takes for them to come up here. We know they do it because we have the best mountain in North America. We want them to also know we have a great town.
I received several calls Monday asking why this story had to be broken in the Denver Post. Try as I did, the Vail Daily did not view this a story worth reporting. It was mentioned in passing in a VRI story about coming attractions for the winter and the VD thought that was enough. So you’ll have to settle for this and the headlines in the Dec. 15 Denver Post. Thankfully, the Post thought the story important.
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Editor’s note: The Daily’s lead story Nov. 13 – “Vail offering big hug to Front Range” – devoted six paragraphs, about one-third of the larger story about Vail reaching out to Front Range skiers, to this program.
Free after 3
Slowly we’re working through the confusion. Here’s a further clarification. Anyone entering AFTER 2:30 will only pay until 4:30 or $4. Four dollars is the max you can be charged IF you enter after 2:30. So enter at 2:29 and you’re up to $10. If you enter after 2:30 and get charged more than $4, save your receipt, try to focus on who the gate attendant was and call Mike Rose at the town of Vail. He promises to take care of it because it’s a mistake.
I’ve traveled over Vail Pass and back twice in the last week and have been conducting my own unscientific study – no consultants, just me – no snow, dry conditions. So I’ll admit now that coming over the pass heading west, I’ve simply pulled my car behind six different trucks and followed to see approximately how fast they were going. The results? Three ran right at 45 mph; two ran slightly under, maybe 42-43; and one was over, but not by much at 50ish.
Afraid to speak?
Last week there was a letter to the editor from Tony Ryerson regarding the proposed replacement for Chair 5. I really have no position on this issue and rarely fight losing battles anyway.
But what I would like to comment on is Mr. Ryerson’s assessment of why there has been so little public comment by locals. His position is that because so many locals are economically tied to Vail Resorts, they are afraid that “voicing a public opinion opposing a corporate viewpoint might result in some sort of backlash – in view of the numerous layoffs … a reluctance to question the “party line’ is understandable.”
I think I am a perfect example of the fallacy of that conclusion. It’s pretty well documented that I disagree with VRI on occasion and I do so publicly. There’s also the annual question every fall at Golden Peak. I tiptoe in and ask Ben, and before him, Booie, if my uniform is still hanging in my locker. So far so good. VRI may thin the ranks every now and then, but so far it hasn’t been for voicing an opinion different from management.
No, the problem in this community is much deeper and can only be blamed on each individual. It’s called apathy. And it’s a pitiful reality.
You only need to attend a meeting where the future if Vail is being carved out to know that most people would rather stay home and watch the Broncos than get involved. So don’t blame this one on VRI.
Did I mention?
A more recent episode at Turn It Up! shows how really liberal VRI is. Of 813 attendees, only two felt the need to make spectacles of themselves. One was a young member of the work force who apparently hadn’t sobered up after the previous night’s pub crawl. Rumor has it he slept in his car and rolled into the session. Not a good excuse, but at least an explanation.
The other was a full grown adult owner of a Vail business who had could not use pub crawl as his defense. Rude behavior, pure and simple. He somehow felt the need to disrupt the time of perfectly sensible people who were there in the hopes of learning something.
His contention was that neither the two chambers nor VRI had the right to make him attend. And he was absolutely correct. He couldn’t be made to attend and he didn’t have to attend.
This is America and he had a choice. Pay $35 and come to two-hour training in order to save $700 on his pass and hopefully learn some social skills – something he was clearly lacking – or pay full boat for a season pass. What he did NOT have the right to do was to waste the time of 50 other people with his rantings.
And why did I say VRI was liberal? Because everyone involved with the program thought he should not have been allowed the privilege of buying a discounted merchant pass. However, Vail Resorts let it go and issued it anyway. But rest assured, his rights will be explained to him next year before he signs up for a class.
He who was so determined to keep his job until February, costing the TOV $9,000 for an additional election and precipitating a charter amendment which in turn will require yet another election, apparently was too otherwise occupied to attend the TOV Christmas party on Friday night. Go figure. Also missing were Councilman Kent Logan, who was out of town, and Councilwoman Diana Donovan, who was sick.
Do your part: call them and write them.
To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail email@example.com. For past columns, vaildaily.com-search:ferry
Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a weekly column for the Daily.