Setting up the final round |

Setting up the final round

Don Rogers

Who says the conference center in Vail is dead? Bumping the lodging tax to pay for construction from $2 to $4 an average room is not such a big deal. Voters who believe in the virtues of a public conference center will still believe, and the price will still be right.Voters who believe building such a facility puts unnecessary risk on the town government’s back will push that view regardless.The real point is that Vail will get that second election to really, really, truly for real and absolutely this is it for sure if a conference center makes sense for the community. Nothing wrong with that. Vail should take its time. And obviously, this is a close call for the voters there. The last election for funding won by only 51 votes.The issues remain. The case for the center doesn’t change because it is a hair more expensive now. The case against the center maybe has a little more life. The vote may well swing on the quality of the campaigns on each side.Kudos to Councilman Kent Logan, chairman of the conference center advisory committee, and the rest of the group for being diligent about their evaluation. Much better to risk being too careful now than to let an estimate of $7 million to $17 million short of what’s needed ride.So between now and November, county on the critics focusing on risk to town coffers, that such a public facility by itself will likely operate at a deficit, that no one will come anyway, and Vail doesn’t need the business anyway.The supporters will focus on the lack of real risk on the town, that a center operating at a deficit attracts a ton of revenue to more than make up for the loss, it will be a success, and Vail indeed does need the business. Should be an interesting election. Vail, Colorado

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