Running the family business
As can be confirmed by anyone who’s been around Vail politics for very long, there’s no mistaking when Greg Moffet’s in the room.
With his booming voice, unbridled energy and sometimes aggressive nature, Moffet tends to get involved in – even dominate – any conversation, and those around him certainly never come away unsure of where he stands.
“You pick and choose your issues, issues you care about, and you go in,” he says, sitting squarely in a captain’s chair of sorts on the top floor of what he calls “World Headquarters” for Tiga Advertising, Inc. – which for now is a modest, two-story, single-family home in Vail’s Matterhorn neighborhood.
Moffet, 45, is one of those guys who’s always selling something, be it advertising with his company or the latest ordinance being crafted by the Vail Town Council, on which he has served since winning a four-year term, his first, in 1999. Now he’s selling himself, too, as one of eight candidates – three incumbents and five challengers – for the four seats up for grabs on Tuesday.
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With his wife, Chris, their daughters Molly, 12, and Bridget, 10, and a loyal black Labrador, Elvis, Moffet easily could run again for office as the “family candidate,” as family typically creeps into his arguments for or against items of town business. Particularly noteworthy in this regard is his staunch support of the Vail Ice Dome, also known as “The Bubble,” which provides precious ice time for skating programs run by the Vail Recreation District in which Molly and Bridget participate.
“It’s consistent with things I try to keep on the screen. I mean, somebody’s got to be watching out for the parents and the kids,” he says. “But I’m also extremely pro-business, with a track record to prove it.”
Yes, Greg Moffet can appear as a one-man dichotomy. Instead of being torn between business and family, however, he seems glued together by them. In fact, Moffet runs his business from home – both for economic and familial reasons – with his brother, Tim.
“I don’t rent office space, and I have 150,000 miles on my minivan. But I love working out of my home mainly because it gives me contact with the kids. They like having me around,” says Moffet, adding it’s a way to stay in touch with both the business sector and the community at large. “I talk with business owners every day because I sell advertising, and I talk to families every day because I’m picking up my kids at soccer practice and school.”
Doing the “Mr. Mom’ thing
At work, Moffet says he lives and breathes local and regional business. Tiga, after all, sells advertising on “every bus between Gypsum and the Eisenhower Tunnel,” specifically the interior panels above passenger’s heads. The company specializes in selling in ski resort communities, he says, as well as at the airports in Eagle County, Crested Butte and Telluride.
At home, he says he “likes doing the “Mr. Mom’ thing,” having been the driving force, with Chris Moffet, behind organizing Vail’s Halloween Block Party, an annual affair in which Vail police officers watch out for the growing number of kids showing off costumes and bagging candy in the Matterhorn neighborhood.
“We got tired of driving to Denver so the girls could go trick-or-treating,” he says.
Originally from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, Moffet lived in Denmark for two years as a boy. He first came to Vail in the mid-70s, like most of us, to ski, even spending the 1976-’77 season here as a “ski bum,” he says, and living at Apollo Park, on South Frontage Road. In 1990, after living on the Front Range, where he studied philosophy and political science at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, he and Chris Moffet bought a second home in Vail. Ultimately, they moved here permanently.
“We came up every weekend. We thought we’d rather live here year-round,” he says. “We’re like a lot of our friends, who came here as adults and adapted their careers to live here.”
“Like council school’
Since their arrival, Greg and Chris Moffet have been active in the town and the community. She’s been on the board of directors for the Vail Recreation District, as well as president of the ABC School and the parent-teacher organization at Vail Mountain School. Before his stint on the Town Council, he spent four years on the town’s Planning and Environmental Commission – or PEC – dealing with projects that included the Lionshead Master Plan, the Austria Haus and the Golden Peak skier-services building.
“The PEC is like council school,” Greg Moffet says. “Seventy-five percent of the hard issues you deal with are really planning-and-zoning issues. You really learn how to get things done.”
Running for a second term, Moffet says his focus remains on “making Vail a good place to live and do business.” He’s been an avid supporter of the town supplying affordable housing, such as Middle Creek, for its workers, saying the town’s “basic civic responsibilities” also include providing recreation opportunities. In fact, one project he’d like to see on the table is an indoor recreational facility.
“I don’t believe fiscal responsibility is an end in itself. It’s a tool, clearly the way to achieve an end,” he says. “In fact, it’s better as an adverb than a noun.”
Not so loud
Perhaps Moffet’s greatest legacy will be waging battle on traffic noise from Interstate 70, the eastbound lanes of which are just a hundred feet or so from his home and office. Without his relentless harping over the sound of noisy trucks rolling through town, there probably would not be an ordinance in the works prohibiting truckers from using their “jake brakes” within town limits.
Meanwhile, facing possibly another four years as part of Vail’s highest authority, he says he’s ready to welcome a fresh face or two at meetings in the near future.
“And I’d really like not to be the youngest guy on the council anymore,” he says.