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Park City contingent stops to study Vail

Scott N. Miller

There’s historical tourism, and there’s eco-tourism, but for almost 20 years, Myles Rademan has been a one-man proponent of “edu-tourism.”Rademan is the director of public affairs and communications for Park City, Utah. He also runs a leadership program for community members. For more than 15 years, he’s taken a combination of town and county officials, business owners and community members on annual road trips to other resort areas in an effort to learn what they’re doing right, and, most important, what Park City could do better.The annual Park City educational tour stopped in Vail and Beaver Creek recently, starting with a spread-out, all-over-town dinner with Vail town officials, and ending with dinner at Beano’s Cabin at Beaver Creek. In between, the 71-member group heard a morning-long presentation about the Vail community and the various redevelopment plans for the town and ski area.In addition to hearing about “official” Vail, Park City Mayor Dana Williams took a quick side trip the first night, sharing some beer and tall tales with a group of hockey players outside Dobson Ice Arena.”It’s one thing to sit down with officials,” Williams said. “It’s another to sit down with hockey players and restaurant workers to find out what they think.”Williams got several ears-ful about the saga of Vail’s ice bubble from the players, but he also heard some other stories that might be valuable when Park City’s ice rink opens some time in 2006. And that’s the point of the trips.”These trips have been instrumental in a lot of what we’ve done,” said Williams, who’s taken 17 of Rademan’s trips. “We’ve started a public art program, built a skateboard park and gotten ideas about government.”Acting on those ideas, though, takes some effort, and a bit of prodding.”We have a mandatory ‘de-briefing’ on Sunday night after we get back,” Rademan said. “Then we assign an action agenda. We pick three things and decide who’s going to do them. It doesn’t always work.”Ideas that have worked, though, include forming a land trust, creating a trail system and starting an affordable housing plan.Vail officials occasionally take research trips, but not on a regular basis. The last one was probably during the 2000-2001 ski season, Vail resident and former councilwoman Sybill Navas said. That excursion was actually a series of trips that included stops in Carmel, Calif., Park City and Sun Valley, Idaho.”We should go every year,” Navas said. The important, thing, though, would be following up on ideas gleaned from other towns, Vail Chamber and Business Association director Kaye Ferry said.A Vail delegation would apparently be welcome in Utah. “It would be nice to have reciprocal visits,” Park City real estate agent Lily Grove said. “That would be great.”Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado


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