Minturn Council candidate: David Clapp |

Minturn Council candidate: David Clapp

Bret Hartman/Vail DailyMinturn Town Council candidate David Clapp, a bartender at Chili Willy's, says he's in a good position to hear from residents and let them know what's going on in town government.

MINTURN ” The year David Clapp relocated from Vermont to the valley, the heavens opened up and doused the mountains with snow, much like this year.

Good, considering Clapp came here with college buddies to ski.

“It was the skiing that brought me out originally,” Clapp said. “The year I moved out was similar to this year ” we had a ton of snow.”

Clapp now plans to stay in the valley.

“I just love the weather and the people here more than I do in Vermont,” he said.

The Minturn Town Council candidate moved to Edwards in 1992. Unimpressed, Clapp relocated to Minturn in 1999.

“I didn’t really enjoy living in Edwards,” Clapp said. “I like the small-town character and all the amenities (Minturn) offers. It’s the people. You can say hello to your neighbors and get to know one another.”

Talking with residents and informing them what’s going on in government is a key to Clapp’s plan if he gets elected, he said. He’s got an advantage ” he’s a bartender at local hangout Chili Willy’s, Clapp said.

“I’m in the best position to represent the people,” Clapp said.

In addition to communication, the council needs an infusion of new representatives, Clapp said.

“The town’s going to go through a lot of changes now, and I don’t see why a change on the town council wouldn’t help also,” he said.

Clapp grew up in Vermont, and attended the University of Vermont, where he earned a degree in economics ” something he said won’t hurt his ability to run Minturn.

Bobby Ginn has yet to announce his developmental plans for the land he owns south of Minturn. As it stands, Ginn is permitted to build one house per 35 acres of land. I support this sort of development. His contributions would benefit Minturn with very little impact on our town’s infrastructure, natural resources or small-town character.

The Vail Daily reports the possibility of 1,700 units being asked for with Ginn’s annexation and development requests. This extent of development would put a heavy burden on Minturn’s infrastructure, to say the very least. I do not support any development that would have such an effect.

I see the Ginn project bringing many impacts to Minturn, both good and bad. It is imperative that we, as a community, make sure the good outweigh the bad. I am most concerned how the Ginn project would impact our town character, our natural resources (including the Eagle River, mountains and surrounding wildlife) and our infrastructure.

The best way to address these impacts is through studies investigating every aspect of the benefits and repercussions of the Ginn development. Proper research and good communication afterwards will help assure Minturn’s success.

I was unaware of this town study, so I contacted the town. Come to find out, there is no town study that shows Minturn could earn millions of dollars in taxes from the Ginn project. This leads me to believe that one should not count their chickens before they hatch.

If Minturn receives surplus tax revenue from the Ginn project, then that money should be spent responsibly. Part of it should be saved; the rest spent on the town’s infrastructure ” meaning new roads, sidewalks, updated water system, new equipment for our town employees, etc. I have always dreamed of all the town’s electricity lines being buried. However, I do realize that fiscal responsibility is more important than an underground telephone line.

I believe the Ginn project is only a part of the most important issue or problem facing Minturn in the coming years. That issue is land use and development. Minturn is surrounded by land that is owned by the federal government, Vail Resorts, the railroad and now Bobby Ginn. It is important that we protect Minturn’s town character and its resources from these entities.

One way to address this issue is by not giving away favors to these people and keeping everything fair between the town, them, and each other. This will help us retain our small-town character and protect the Eagle River and the mountains we live in.

Another problem I see facing Minturn is a lack of knowledge about what is going on around us. Communication is the remedy. I was very happy to see the section in the Vail Daily March 16 stating what had been discussed at a previous council meeting. This, along with the letters we have been receiving from Mr. Ginn, are both steps in the right direction. It is important that Minturn is in the know.

Standing behind the bar at Chili Willy’s, I stare out the window looking at two buildings. One holds a thriving business. The other sits vacant. One has people walking in and out of its doors, some of whom then stroll over and visit Chili Willy’s. The other just sits empty, offering no customer support to the restaurant. Businesses rely on other businesses for a stronger customer base. This is why I am concerned about the recent departure of many Main Street businesses.

I will help restore business in Minturn by continuing the support of its businesses, the town’s economic development director and listening to new ideas. It is important we all work together and share our thoughts to help restore business in Minturn.

I am a proven great listener and am easy to find.

Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or

Vail, Colorado

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