Vail candidate profile: Hitt wants back on council
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – Farrow Hitt enjoyed being a Vail Town Council member for six years – it’s one of the major motivations for his current candidacy to do it all over again.
Hitt left the council in 2009. He had recently lost both of his parents and had to devote more time to family business, which is why he didn’t run for re-election at that time.
Hitt felt he was beneficial to the council. He showed up to meetings prepared, he said, having read every word on every page of the council packets, which can sometimes equal hundreds of pages.
Hitt, the general manager at the Simba Run condominiums, said he understands the beat of the community because he is a worker.
“I’m a good listener,” Hitt said.
Hitt was around when the council was dealing with Solaris and the Arrabelle project in Lionshead. He was the swing vote in favor of Solaris, something he looks back on and is proud of.
“I think it was a great thing,” Hitt said, adding that Vail’s redevelopment renewal that also includes the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons, brings in a lot of the high-end guests that Vail wants to attract. “I don’t want an entire town filled with that crowd exclusively, but it fits here.”
Hitt remembers some problems with the Arrabelle housing requirements that Vail Resorts didn’t build within the time frame outlined in the developer agreement. He was mad about that, and wants to make sure that developers stick to agreements that are made with the town.
Upcoming projects where this will be an important skill are Ever Vail and the Timber Ridge redevelopment. Hitt said he wants to make sure the community’s interests are looked after. There needs to be that balance in a town that is joined at the hip with a ski resort, he said.
“I want to make sure the community voice is heard,” Hitt said.
Growth in Vail is inevitable, he said, but he wants to make sure Vail grows into a fantastic place and nothing less. With Ever Vail, Vail Resorts’ $1 billion proposed development in west Lionshead, Hitt sees the overall project as a good idea. He has some concerns about the loss of some of the retail space in the project, which he thinks could end up making the Ever Vail gondola become more of a private portal onto the mountain for those who live or stay at Ever Vail.
Hitt’s also tired of seeing Timber Ridge redevelopment deals start up just to crumble in the end. He thinks affordable housing will always be an issue in Vail and something needs to get done at Timber Ridge.
Hitt is also proud of some of the financial decisions he was a part of in 2008, as the recession was making its way to Vail. He feels that council had a lot to do with the strong financial state the town is in today.
He thinks a line item review of the budget is on the radar and needs to be done. It’s the council’s responsibility, he said.
He also thinks the town needs to keep a close eye on the upcoming winter’s success. He thinks it will be a fine winter because of the momentum from last season, which had the most snow in Vail’s history, but if the snow doesn’t come this winter it could catch up to the town’s economy by the 2012-13 season.
Hitt’s also weary about the global economy and doesn’t know what’s going to happen in the near future, which is why the town has to continue to budget conservatively, he said.
One area where he’d be willing to spend more money is on things that bring back a large return on investment, such as marketing and special events.
“More can be done,” he said.
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or email@example.com.