Vail candidate profile: Daly has more work to do
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Incumbent Andy Daly isn’t ready to step down from the Vail Town Council because there are projects, and goals, he wants to see through to the finish line.
Daly, 65, has been on the council for four years. He has been an important part of the Colorado ski industry for the last 30 or so years, having held the job as president at Copper Mountain in the 1980s, formed a company that bought Eldora in the late 1980s, and later becoming an executive at Vail Associates, followed by president and chief executive officer.
That background is important, Daly said, because the town of Vail is also in the resort business and he has worked in that business from both the for-profit and not-for-profit sides.
“There are very few people with the experience I’ve had, being involved with the community, ski companies and the town,” Daly said.
Daly wants to continue to protect the town’s economy, which he said is partially done through conservative, responsible fiscal management. The town has been successful using this strategy throughout the recession, he said, which is something he’s proud of.
“I think the ‘save it’ strategy has really proved itself,” Daly said.
Timber Ridge and Ever Vail are two development projects that Daly wants to help move forward. Timber Ridge because it would help solve some of the town’s employee housing problems, but also because it would significantly reduce the town’s debt load, he said.
Ever Vail is a project that Vail Resorts has invested a lot of time and energy into, along with the town, which is why Daly wants to see that project get through the town process.
Daly also wants to help the town staff rebuild the budget process “so that it more clearly reflects what we’re spending on operating costs versus capital costs, and allows us to control those costs more effectively.”
The town is spending about 75 percent of its income on operating costs, which Daly thinks could be managed better.
“The town has some significant, long-term unfunded capital requirements and unless we better manage and recognize the operating costs that we incur, particularly with some of the new projects we’re doing, it will make it very difficult for us to meet our long-term capital requirements,” Daly said.
Daly’s financial sense is something his fellow council members have praised him for during his time on council. Town finances are important to Daly, and it shows.
Daly is thinking ahead about year-round economic engines for the town of Vail, which he believes could come from the health and wellness industry. He points toward the proposed partnership between the town and the Vail Valley Medical Center, Steadman Clinic and Steadman Philippon Research Institute as a real opportunity for the town’s future economic vitality.
He said that project, which is going through feasibility studies right now, could ensure the existence of the hospital in Vail as well as provide good paying jobs, something that leads into another one of Daly’s priorities, a sense of community.
Daly hasn’t forgotten about the importance of community in Vail, something he campaigned on in 2007 when he first ran for council. He sees the answer to maintaining and growing that sense of community in housing and education.
The town’s Chamonix project, which will build affordable housing suitable for families in town, is one example of how the town has worked toward this goal, he said. Daly has also had conversations with school board members about ensuring that Vail retains its elementary school, Red Sandstone, or perhaps turns that school into a magnet school in the future.
“I’m adamant about trying to continue to preserve a sense of community in Vail and sustainable environment that will keep families living here and attract more families to live in Vail,” Daly said. “It’s been a great place for us to raise our kids.”
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org.