Scare tactics: Vail conference center |

Scare tactics: Vail conference center

Don Rogers

The Texas professor who has made a career of pooh-poohing convention centers makes good points. Projections from rah-rah consultants often have not panned out in reality. Attendance at many convention centers has dipped. Lots and lots of communities nonetheless are forging ahead with expansions or, like, Vail are building new centers.He sees the trend as an economic siren’s call that cannot possibly be met. All these places are headed for the shoals. It’s all doom, doom, he tells us in scholarly sounding lingo and charts.At the least, Vail needs to listen carefully to this cautionary advice. But the town leaders need also to understand that the good Professor Heywood Sanders no doubt would have counted himself among the legion of experts who would gladly – did gladly – tell Pete Seibert Jr. and Earl Eaton that building a new ski resort in a region already full of them was foolhardy at best. Now Vail reigns as No. 1 year in and year out.Denver and Vail are very different markets. And out of the cities building or expanding convention centers, Vail is unique. Can the ski town compete? You bet.Be prudent. Have a good plan. But don’t cave because a professor scared you. Wade Churchill has tenure, too.Snowball’s chanceNot that there’s a good way to die, but this one has to be especially hard to take. Killed in an avalanche while taking a class in how to survive an … avalanche?The slide swept John William Jensen, 32, about 3,500 feet down a gully in the Aspen backcountry, near the Highlands ski resort. He suffocated in the 20 minutes it too to dig him out.It all underscores how dangerous the backcountry really is. Even a safety class can get you killed. Vail, Colorado

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