Much ado about a slide
Beaver Creek homeowners are fighting furiously against the happy cries of their own grandchildren.Listening to the din lately, you’d think an alpine slide through Haymeadow were a Ferris wheel or The Hammer, complete with cotton candy and carnies. The hollering over Vail Resorts’ plans to install the the slide sounds louder than squeals the attraction itself will muster. There goes the neighborhood! Sure, but seriously, what is so different than the miniature golf, horseback riding, climbing wall and all already there each summer, really? Besides a little more fun for the youngsters?How exactly does sliding at a ski resort not fit the surroundings? Did the homeowners think they were buying homes at Mountain Star or Cordillera? Beaver Creek is a resort. You know, a place where visitors come to the mountain and have fun. Down here by the highway, we’re scratching our heads at the fuss. The slide won’t go near any homes. It will open in the midmorning and close at 6 each evening. The green path looks quite inobtrusive in the green grass, and we’re told that scooting will be about as noisy as a conversation – which homeowners will be too far away to hear anyway.Little kids will love it, and plenty of folks with second homes in Beaver Creek have young relatives who will look a little more forward to that week with Grandma and Grandpa. Here’s a bet that some of those opponents today will be riders themselves tomorrow.And the slide certainly will be quieter than all those riff-raff skiers and snowboarders scraping down Haymeadow on an icy day during winter. Still, homeowner associations are speaking up in the county commissioners chambers, writing letters to the editor, and making sounds like they’ll aim to settle this in court. Good luck with that.Mean old Vail Resorts doesn’t merely wish to add to the Beaver Creek experience. Oh no, some assert. The big gorilla just wants to flex its muscle. Never mind that this sentiment makes absolutely no sense at all. Last we looked, Vail Resorts was in the high-quality recreation business, not some weird conspiracy to run off its wealthiest customers. But the homeowners are not the only people who come to Beaver Creek. And while we don’t see an invasion of the hoi poloi with a slide, the place can use a little more life in the summer.The reality of a slide that’s well-built and operated hardly merits the ferocious opposition to it. This drama has a bit of a Shakespearian cast to it. That is, much ado about nothing.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado CO
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