Sinking to a new low |

Sinking to a new low

Kaye Ferry

Disappointed would be putting it mildly. More like shocked and disgusted. And I think if the community actually knew the way the Crossroads petition has been handled, they would be, too.As I said last week, a good debate is invigorating. But the depths to which this signature gathering sunk is not only despicable but should truly be an embarrassment to everyone living in the town of Vail.Early on, the exaggerating began. Gross misrepresentations. Of the size of the building. Of the process used. Of the benefits to the community. Of the opponents. There was an ad signed by opponents to the project. Thirty percent of the names listed in the ad are not registered voters in the town of Vail. Interesting that would happen. Why? Many of the same people against Crossroads were also against the conference center. When ads appeared in support of the conference center and they included out-of-town names, the anti-conference center group hit the roof. Non-residents of Vail, they said, have no right to an opinion on town matters. I guess the rules change depending on which side you line up with.But even as much as I find all of that appalling, I guess it was to be expected. Fights aren’t always fair. As a matter of fact, I think these kind seldom are. But where the line was seriously and unconscionably crossed was when anti-Semitic statements were thrown into the mix. I for one was stunned that something as insignificant as a building could generate such animosity. Oh sure, there are those that think the world will turn on its end if this development is completed. But in the grand scheme of things, it is nothing more than mortar and concrete. And it most certainly should not have the power to elicit such bigotry in this community. This process has become personal and it shouldn’t have. But when facts don’t support an argument and losing becomes apparent, oftentimes a hit below the belt is all that’s left. How pathetic. It is a sad day for all of us that this has occurred. And no matter what your position, we should all understand what a powerfully negative component has been thrown into the debate and how seriously things have digressed. These are truly the acts of desperate people. And while I know that all of the petitioners are not responsible for these malicious comments, they all have to assume some responsibility for creating such a rabidly contentious atmosphere. There’s a whole part of the community that deserves an apology.But on to a more pleasant topic. It’s hard to imagine a better spring. The snow. Well the snow has almost defied description since November. Yet the warm sunny days with the slush and spring colors often make me wonder if a powder day is really the best type of skiing.And then, of course, April has become the month of choice for many events. Taste of Vail has had a long tradition this time of year. With the addition of the Lamb Cook Off, a new dimension has taken the “Taste” to the streets. Where in the past it has always been confined to high priced options on the mountain or banquet halls, it now has an inexpensive component that everyone can enjoy.Of course, very dear to my heart is the Vail Film Festival. Being a film fanatic, this event represents the single most exciting addition to the Vail calendar since I’ve lived here.Just completing its third year, the festival has risen very quickly to become one of the top festivals in the industry. Over 1,000 submissions were received and through diligence, hundreds of hours of work and the keen eyes of the selection committee, the list was whittled down to 75 offerings.And they were great. I saw 15 features myself and was only sorry that there wasn’t time to see more. I think I mentioned last year that I always wondered if those little emblems that say “Winner, Sundance Film Festival” or “Audience Award, Toronto Film Festival” were real. Well, they are. I was in New York last year and passed a marquee with “Vail Film Festival” on it. I got chills. But then, as I said, I’m an admitted film fanatic.The addition of Best Life Magazine’s sponsorship brought just the infusion of capital necessary to push this event to the next level. Along with that, the increased number of screens available made access easy for almost all films. A truly memorable four days. And last, but certainly not least, Spring Back to Vail. How about that! Could they have packed more into two weeks? Even the near-disastrous cancellation of Saturday’s annual World Pond Skimming turned out OK. A tear in the Lake Golden Peak liner caused the event to be cancelled on the gloomy, rainy Saturday and rescheduled on the absolutely gorgeous Easter Sunday. So as the saying goes, “all’s well that ends well.” On a side note, I know I’m in the minority for my age group, but I’m sorry that the producers took so much flack last year that they were forced to tone it down this year. Spring Back actually made it as the “number one spring party” in Skiing magazine’s March/April issue after last year’s event. It put us on the spring destination map. It’s a pity we created so much energy and weren’t able to run with it. Nonetheless, it was good fun and certainly a great way to end the season’s events.Remember when April almost didn’t exist? It’s taken a lot of hard work to get us where we are and everyone involved should be commended. This is what a resort should feel like all year long! Congratulations.Do your part: call them and write them. To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail For past columns, go to and click on “Columnists” or search for keyword “ferry.” Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a weekly column for the Daily. Vail, Colorado

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