Moffet’s tenure in Vail saw massive change
VAIL, Colorado ” The fast-talking man in the Hawaiian shirt has been at the leading edge of Vail’s transformation over the last decade.
Greg Moffet, a West Vail dad with a penchant for tropical clothing, has helped shape a lot of change in town since he started serving on town government 12 years ago.
He was a member of the planning commission when the redevelopment of Lionshead was in its infant stage. The redevelopment master plan jump-started the massive renovation that Vail is seeing now. Then, he served on the Vail Town Council for eight years, leaving earlier this month due to term limits.
“It’s a very different place than it was when I got on planning commission in 1995,” he said.
And it’s not different just because of the billions-dollar-redevelopment that has occurred in Vail Village and Lionshead, he said. Those hotels and condos are more for visitors than locals, he said.
“That aspect of town really is for us some of the time, but really that’s not our town,” Moffet said. “Our town is the line at Safeway and City Market. This is clearly a product that people who come here to spend money touch way more than we do.”
Moffet said he’s most proud of accomplishments that helped locals, such as the creation of Donovan Park, the Gymnastics Center and the Golden Peak ski-school drop-off area.
Fellow council member Kim Newbury, who served with Moffet for four years, said Moffet fought tirelessly for what he believed in ” “which was doing things that brought families and middle class back to Vail,” she said.
To that end, Moffet, a Minnesota native and former lawyer, has been a proponent of keeping a sense of community in Vail and creating affordable housing in town.
“If I wanted to live in a ghost town, I would have moved to a different place,” Moffet said. “There are places like that here in this county and places like that all over the state. What makes Vail different than almost any other ski town is the fact that it has a real population and it’s not just retirees and lift operators.”
As many Vail politicians will tell you, the true test of your popularity happens when you stand in line at Safeway in this small town.
“I like the grocery store line test,” he said. “Nobody ever accosted me about anything.”
Moffet said he’s not returning to government anytime soon, but left open the possibility of returning to Town Council. Tuesday nights used to be date nights for Greg Moffet and his wife, and he said he’s looking forward to having that back.
But, really, what’s with the Hawaiian shirts?
“You’re a kid growing up in Minnesota, what do your really want to wear more than anything?” he said. “Because all you wear is flannel and thermal underwear. Every fantasy I had as a kid involved skiing and/or Hawaiian shirts.”
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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