Pittman: ‘I’m a very successful ski bum’
VAIL – Scott Pittman, resident of Vail more than two decades, has been a lot of things in the town. “I’ve been a business owner, I’ve been an employee, I’ve been a renter, I’ve been a homeowner,” he said.Those things, he said, make him qualified to add one more to the list: councilman. Pittman is running for Vail Town Council in the Nov. 8 election.Pittman doesn’t have any political experience, but he thinks his experience living and working in Vail – as a “common man” of Vail – gives him plenty of qualifications for the position.”I’m just a common dude,” he said. “A common guy. You can tell I’m pretty common. I’m not going to be pulling any tricks on you. I am what I am.”He’s thankful for the lifestyle Vail has provided to him over the last 23 years, and serving on the town council would be a way to give back, he said.”I just want to help with the changes that are coming in order to ensure opportunities are going to be there in the future for people like me who decided to make Vail their town,” he said.’Let’s go do something you love’Pittman, a native of Colorado Springs, came to Vail in 1983 after attending Adams State College in Alamosa.”After college, I moved back to Colorado Springs,” he said. “I didn’t want to teach, didn’t want to work in a machine shop all my life. So I said, let’s go work for the hill. Let’s go do something you love.”
So he packed up a 1972 Plymouth Barracuda and came to Vail, and he hasn’t left since.After that first week in the Roost Lodge, he’s lived all over Vail – on Garmisch Drive in northwest Vail, Spruce Way in East Vail, Bellflower Drive in Intermountain and Sierra Trail and Matterhorn Circle in Matterhorn.He worked on the gondola crew for Vail Associates, then worked as a painter in the summer while working at ski shops in the winter. He then started his own company called Rocky Mountain Finishes. He grew the company from a small operation to taking in a half-million dollars a year and employing 12 people, he said.But the pressures of operating a business were taking away the quality of life that he came to Vail for. “I owned that business, and after a while, that business owned me,” he said.So he sold the business. Now, he works as an engineer at the Marriott in Lionshead, which, he said, makes him “happy as a clam.”A common visionThe conference center needs to be built, Pittman said. “If we do it we can keep relying on a renewable yearly income for summer,” he said.Pittman said he supports the Crossroads redevelopment. Vail needs to continue to evolve, he said. “I remember when there was a Kentucky Fried Chicken on Bridge Street,” he said. “How charming is that? There was a Burger King at Crossroads. So you’re telling me those are things you want to reminisce over?”
When it comes to development, Pittman said he would like the council to establish a common vision of what it wants to approve. But skiing needs to be a big part of that, he said.”We have to collectively come to an agreement on what we want to see,” he said. “I feel that, No. 1, Vail is a ski town. From skiing does all of our revenue flow. So we have to cater to skiing. We need to focus on that.”On the issue of the West Vail fire station, he’ll listen to the fire officials and other experts and follow their recommendations, he said.Interstate 70 noise doesn’t bother him personally at his house, but he would listen to constituents on what they want, he said.Affordable housing is something he thinks Vail needs more of. He lives in the Vail Commons affordable housing complex. Pittman, who said the Vail Town Council has mostly done good work over the past few years, said the Vail Commons is one of the good ideas Vail Council has realized.He would make a good councilman because he’s a good listener and takes everyone’s views into consideration, he said.He is quick to admit he’s not a politician, and has no aspirations to be such. But that doesn’t matter, he said. “I’m not a politician,” he said. “I’m a citizen. I just think a good idea is a good idea. It doesn’t matter who said it.”What it all boils down to, he said, is “I’m a ski bum. I’m a very successful ski bum.”Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 604, or email@example.com.