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Richard Carnes: Craving a new nickname for Ginnturn

Sometimes a play on words resonates ironically, as Bobby Ginn’s last name did with Minturn.

Ginn rhymed with “Min,” of course, and then there was the obvious connection with the popular grain alcohol of the same name pouring the financial giddiness for Minturn residents, along with a full bar of top-shelf speculators.

It all seemed to fit so darn well.



But like Monday morning after an Oktoberfest Sunday, the economic hangover kicked in, providing a local man named Frank the absolute right to shout, “I told you so!”

He’s probably still shouting it at this very moment.



Similar to O.J. and that damned glove, other residents soon discovered that “taking a risk with Ginn was akin to taking it on the chin.” Others said: “Counting on Ginn will make your head spin,” while still others settled for, “In Webster’s under ‘spin,’ you find a picture of Ginn.”

And so on and so on.

So here Minturnites are, back where they done been, as the money is now thin, property values are higher than sin, and a select few have disappeared with a grin.



And now a group named “Crave” has taken hold of the annexation reins under the auspices of a real estate investment firm called Lubert-Adler, which, coincidentally, combines with Crave to spell the anagram: Curt Verbal Redeal.

Don’t get me wrong, however, as coming up with a silly anagram is not a reflection on the companies involved, yet it does eerily spell out what needs to be accomplished before the Battle Mountain project can ever hope to take another step forward.

And believe me, a redeal will be in the works soon, as nobody walks away from a $40 million investment (unless, of course, government funds are somehow involved).

But the reality of today’s economic environment is forcing all participants in the Happy Valley commercial real estate game to reassess their respective strategies.

The Village at Avon, approved more than a decade ago – with the exception of Wal-Mart, Home Depot and a smattering of others – has gone nowhere.

The Brightwater Club down in Gypsum – nowhere.

The much ballyhooed West End project in Edwards – nowhere.

The eternally controversial Eagle River Station – nowhere.

But why?

Were they bad projects run by bad people?

Of course not.

Were they good projects run by good people with unrealistic expectations?

In hindsight, sure they were – all of them.

Before the Great Recession everybody, especially bankers, had acquisition eyes bigger than their debt stomachs could handle, and now we’re all suffering from fiscal indigestion. All we can do now is be patient and wait for the multitude of economic cycles to complete. Some will hang on, others will fold, but the majority of us will still be around when it starts snowing green around here again.

No matter what, Craveturn sounds far too similar to Graveturn, so let’s leave it alone. I do believe Minturn has suffered enough already.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.


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