Vail candidate questionnaire: Andy Daly
Vail, CO Colorado
Q: Why are you running for Vail Town Council?
A: If elected, I will provide leadership that will allow us to continue as a dynamic, competitive resort community that is fiscally sound and is capable of offering unique cultural and sport experiences for residents and guests. We must also focus on the other aspects of our economy and in particular health and wellness. We have the opportunity which I would like to move to fruition, for a joint venture between the town, the Medical Center and the Steadman Research Institute. This joint venture will include a new state of the art medical office and research facility, on the current town community development office site, and will create great jobs and destination visits. In addition, it will free up space for the Medical Center allowing for additional growth which ensures their continued presence in our town.
Q: What are the biggest issues facing Vail right now?
A: The economy of the town is my No. 1 concern. We must drive destination visitation summer and winter. Vail Resorts does an outstanding job building brand awareness and increasing winter visitation and we should continue to follow their lead. Non-winter months, we need to continue our support of the Vail Local Marketing District and the Commission on Special Events, as well as our iconic events including Bravo, Vail Valley Foundation (International Dance, Teva Games, Pro Cycle Challenge, etc.), Vail Jazz and the Colorado Ski Museum. My No. 2 concern is increasing the efficiency of town government by rebuilding the budget process so that it breaks out all operating costs, rather than co-mingling operating costs with capital expenditures. This will allow better focus on cost containment and accountability. No. 3 is moving forward with the redevelopment of Timber Ridge Phase I so as to reduce the town’s outstanding debt and financial risk. My No. 4 priority is the development of permanent parking solutions that remove cars from the frontage road, trailheads and our parks.
Q: How would you rate the work the current Town Council has done? What are some specific examples of what it has done right and/or wrong?
A: Generally, we have done a good job. We kept the town fiscally sound during this very difficult recession. We made tough calls to reduce staff and operating costs while increasing our expenditures for promotion through VLMD, CSE and events such as Teva and the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge. Our aggressive response allowed us to far exceeded the rate of recovery at other resorts. On the affordable housing front, we succeeded with the planning of Chamonix, which will be ready to go once the economy improves, and are on the threshold of a major redevelopment of Phase I of Timber Ridge. We moved an environmental agenda forward with our support of the Gems initiative and capital investment to reduce our carbon footprint. We were not as successful in addressing the parking issue, although we have engaged the private sector to better utilize their facilities which has reduced the frontage road overflow.
Q: Do you generally support Vail Resorts’ proposed Ever Vail project? Why or why not?
A: Since Ever Vail is currently before the council for approval, I may not offer specifics. However, the area proposed for redevelopment has no redeeming qualities as it is made up of maintenance shops, parking lots and strip centers. Replacement of these facilities with a quality residential/hotel/ retail development could be an important improvement assuming impacts of such development can be successfully mitigated.
Q: Ask and answer your own question that will help voters decide how to vote.
A: What is another potential strategic area of focus that has been overlooked in this year’s election discussions? We must increase the role of the private sector in our Vail economy in providing leadership, entrepreneurial focus and a sense of opportunism. Too much leadership is currently being provide by the town and municipal government does not have a great track record of driving the success of world-class resorts. We should implement a mentoring program to develop young, energetic business leaders that want to help lead our community .