Sullivan: RV park could hurt Minturn |

Sullivan: RV park could hurt Minturn

Inn owner campaigns against RV park
Tamara Miller
Tom Sullivan

Like many Eagle County residents, Tom Sullivan’s arrival here was a little bit by chance.

His decision to make Minturn his home for the past 10 years, however, was completely deliberate. “I liked the small town feel, the authenticity of it,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan, who co-owns the Minturn Inn with his wife, Cathy, is vying against four other candidates for three open seats on the Minturn Town Council. The election is April 6.

“I’ve been pretty disappointed with the town government the last two years,” he said. “There has been a tremendous amount of friction created.”

He disagrees with the tactics the council used to restore the Eagle riverfront. That project, intended to reverse environmental damage caused to the river by mining operations, is entering its final stages now. At one point, the town attempted to condemn land near Sullivan’s hotel, which borders the Eagle River.

As a business owner, Sullivan said the Town Council has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to survive. He blames the town’s regulations and procedures for prompting the closures of Minturn Gardens and Michel’s Bakery.

Most of all, he is “adamantly opposed” to the current council’s plans to build a recreational vehicle park on town-owned land. He said he fears the town’s plans to have a developer build an RV park could put the Minturn at risk of financial peril.

“It could be detrimental to the town,” he said.

Understanding the council’s desire to create another revenue source for Minturn, Sullivan suggested alternatives. The creation of a lift connecting Minturn to Two Elk Lodge at the top of Vail Mountain could be an economic boon, he said. Gilman – the abandoned mining town near Minturn – could provide business opportunities, as well.

He agreed with other RV park opponents, such as former mayor and current candidate Hawkeye Flaherty, that Minturn residents should vote on the issue.

Mayor Earl Bidez has said a vote is not required and that the job of a publicly elected council is to decide such things for residents.

“It’s so easy to do this right yet they’ve chosen not to,” Sullivan said.

While Minturn residents may not be able to vote on the RV park directly, they will likely voice their opinion on the issue when they consider who to elect to town council.

Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at: or by calling 949-0555 ext. 607.

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