Minturn business stagnant, some say
Vail, CO Colorado
MINTURN ” So many people ate at the Turntable Restaurant 10 years ago that Darla Goodell had to hire a parking attendant.
“The downtown was alive, we had people walking and talking on the streets,” said Goodell, owner of the Turntable Restaurant and Motel. “That energy just isn’t there anymore.”
Goodell and other business owners haven’t done as well in recent years, they say.
Others say that Minturn business is thriving, but that it could improve ” and that improvement could come from the Ginn Development Co.’s homes and private ski resort south of Minturn, they say.
Growing towns such as Edwards harmed Minturn businesses in the past few years, said Al Brown, owner of Chili Willy’s.
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People don’t drive to Minturn to get what they want now, he said.
“It kind of moved west like everybody else,” Brown said about business.
Brown and Goodell would like to see more events like the summertime Minturn Market to draw customers to Minturn, they said.
Concerts and weddings would help and the town should be more aggressive in bringing business to Minturn, Brown said.
A diversity of businesses, such as novelty shops and an ice cream parlor, also would help bring people to town, Goodell said.
The town is holding focus groups to ask Minturn residents and business owners how to improve the economy, said Ashley King, new economic development director for Minturn.
Minturn’s goals are to retain and strengthen existing businesses, replace lost businesses and to introduce new businesses, King said.
The town can accomplish those objectives with collaboration from business owners, she said.
“We already have the resources, we just need to use them,” King said.
Minturn has more than 160 business license holders, King said.
Those businesses include retail, service, development companies, rental companies, carpentry and construction companies, she said.
And some of the businesses are thriving, owners said.
Jim Popeck had a record first quarter at his bicycle shop this year, he said.
An early spring and some eager customers made for good profits, said Popeck, owner of Mountain Pedaler of Vail in Minturn and Eagle.
Since Kirby Cosmo’s BBQ opened almost four months ago, the business has done well, said owners Mark and Emily Tamberino. Still the town could do more by lifting restrictions on parking around Cosmo’s, Mark Tamberino said.
Andy Kaufman’s Minturn Saloon also is doing well, he said.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Kaufman said.
Strong businesses strengthen the standard of living for all residents of the Vail Valley, said Michael Robinson, president of the Vail Valley Partnership.
Sales and lodging taxes fund better city services, parks, recreation and police and fire departments, he said.
“It all boils down to the individual success of business owners in the valley,” Robinson said.
Ginn taxes would contribute millions in revenue to the town at little expense to Minturn, said Ford Frick, managing director for BBC Research and Consulting, which conducted a study for Ginn. Minturn would gain more than $6 million in surplus revenue in Ginn’s second year, according to the study.
Costs for police services would rise the most, but Ginn would supplement that with its own security, Frick said.
Minturn generates most of its revenue from high property taxes, he said. Places like Vail can afford lower property taxes because of the sales tax revenue that businesses generate, he said.
Ginn could bring more business into Minturn, business owners said.
“Where everybody sees Minturn as real stagnant, Ginn could change that all,” Emily Tamberino said.
Ginn club members and employees would shop and dine at businesses somewhat, but not in overwhelming numbers, said Cliff Thompson, spokesman for Ginn.
Ginn would provide its own services, such as restaurants, he said.
“I think Minturn would indeed experience economic revitalization,” Thompson said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.