Mikaela Shiffrin charms Vail Town Council
Board: Vail Town Council, April 21 afternoon and evening meetings.
Present: Jenn Bruno, Greg Moffet, Margaret Rogers, Dave Chapin, Dale Bugby and Mayor Andy Daly.
Absent: Ludwig Kurz.
Who they talked to: Mikaela Shiffrin.
What they talked about: During a discussion of the facts and figures surrounding the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Shiffrin talked to the council about her experiences during the events. Shiffrin, 19, has already earned a world championship, an Olympic gold medal and a gold medal from this year’s championships, but acknowledged being nervous addressing the council.
Working from hastily-jotted notes, Shiffrin was effusive in her praise for the two weeks of events in Vail and Beaver Creek. Everything from TV coverage to the race courses to the evening medals ceremonies was great, she said.
She was especially happy about the volunteers who worked at the event.
“On slalom day, the volunteers were so excited and that made me more excited,” she said.
Shiffrin added that buzz from the championships lingered through the rest of the FIS world cup season.
“This is going to be one of the highlights of my entire life,” she said. “To be able to perform at home… I don’t have the vocabulary to tell you how impressive it was.”
Council members were equally effusive in their praise for Shiffrin.
Daly recalled that he was the driver of the car carrying Shiffrin when she was the grand marshal of the 2014 Vail America Days Parade. He praised Shiffrin for the way she and her brother talked to the youngsters at the parade, and how the two of them stopped and got out of the car on the parade route to talk to, and pose for pictures with, a young man in a wheelchair, with Mikaela putting her gold medal around the young man’s neck.
What’s next: Shiffrin will be the grand marshal for the 2015 Vail America Days parade. After that, more success on the slopes.
Issue: The April 19 Spring Back to Vail Concert.
Who they talked to: Dave Gorsuch.
What they talked about: Gorsuch said he was disappointed with the crowd in Vail Village for the final day of Spring Back to Vail Concerts, this one featuring The Greyboy Allstars. Gorsuch said he was “embarrassed and appalled” at the crowd behavior he saw, including drug use and drunkenness.
“If people are having fun, that’s great,” Gorsuch said. “But if you can’t walk down the street without getting high…”
Gorsuch said the event was “not a good example of what Vail should be.”
Daly echoed those remarks at the afternoon meeting, saying he was disappointed with the April 19 event.
What’s next: Event promoters may face a stern talking-to.
Issue: What’s next for a new Interstate 70 underpass in Vail.
Who they talked to: Tom Kassmel of the town engineering department.
What they talked about: Kassmel talked about the work going into a May 5 proposal on whether or not the town will put another $2.4 million into the project, bringing the town’s total contribution to $8.4 million. Total cost of the project is now estimated at $29 million. The original estimate was $20.8 million when the project was announced, with the town footing about 30 percent of the bill.
Rogers asked Kassmel to put together a list of town projects that might not be funded if the town agrees to pay the extra money for the project.
Moffet also asked for a brief review of the need for the underpass, which would link the town’s north and south frontage roads about halfway between the main Vail and West Vail interchanges.
What’s next: The council is expected to vote May 5.