Minturn group urges ‘yes’ on Ginn project
MINTURN ” Only two people out of 30 Randy Quintana has talked to don’t support a private ski resort in Minturn.
“They’ve told me they’re going to vote yes,” Quintana said about the 28 others.
Still, Quintana, who has lived in Minturn his entire life, plans to call fellow Minturn residents Monday to remind them to vote in a referendum for a private ski resort.
He wants his daughter, Randi, and her grandmother to walk on new sidewalks that the Ginn Development Co. will fund instead of dodging cars and trucks on U.S. Highway 24.
Quintana is member of Minturn Citizens for Annexation, formed recently to support Ginn’s plans to build 1,700 homes and condominiums, ski slopes and a golf course on and around Battle Mountain, south of downtown Minturn.
The support isn’t coming entirely from Minturn residents.
The group has received $20,000 from Ginn between April 11 and 25, according to a financial report filed April 29 with the town. The other $395 in contributions came from Ginn employees and Minturn residents.
“We are funding the campaign based on the input that citizen members are giving as it relates to what types of materials they like to see in a campaign, as well as the need to get factual information to the voters via Vail Daily ads and mailers,” Donn Wolfertz, Ginn comptroller and president of the group, said in a statement.
The group has spent almost $4,300 on advertising in the Vail Daily, almost $3,000 on signs and other advertising and more than $1,000 on food and drink.
Frank Lorenti, who gathered enough signatures on a petition to send the development to a vote of residents, said he has neither asked for nor accepted contributions ” though they have been offered ” for his efforts. Lorenti has studied Ginn’s proposal and often updates his Web site, minturntimes.com, with information about the development. Lorenti urges residents to vote no.
“You’ve got a rich developer coming in and throwing money all over the place,” said Lorenti, who calls himself “a small-town local guy” who has lived in Minturn 15 years “going up against the big boys.”
John Rosenfeld, who has lived in Minturn for 18 years, is a part of Minturn Citizens for Annexation because he wants to see the town improve. He often sees workers jumping from water main to water main to fix Minturn’s antiquated pipes when they leak.
“It’s so important for the town to get into a situation where it can sustain itself,” Rosenfeld said.
So Rosenfeld, who owns Johnie’s Garden in Minturn, has delivered signs to people that say “Vote yes” on Ginn and has gone door-to-door to talk with residents.
“It’s worth diverting some energy to, to make sure everybody makes a good, educated decision on it,” he said.
Some people have concerns, such as a Ginn-funded wastewater treatment plant smelling bad. The technology has come a long way and the plant won’t smell, Rosenfeld said.
Kids like Quintana’s 9-year-old daughter don’t have much to do in Minturn, Quintana said. Little Beach Park is about the only place for them to go, he said.
Ginn has promised to fund a recreation center in Minturn, one of the reasons Quintana has talked to so many residents about the project.
“I’m not there to change their mind,” Quintana said. “All I’m there for is to give them information.”
Rosenfeld thinks 400 to 500 voters would make a good turnout for Minturn. Minturn had 750 registered voters in its last Town Council election.
“I think if the weather’s good, we’ll have a good turnout,” he said.
Tom Sullivan, a former town councilman who voted to annex Ginn’s land into the town and a member of the group, said he thinks people will vote the same way he did.
“As long as everyone gets out to vote, I feel pretty confident that it will go through,” Sullivan said.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at (970) 748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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