Vail council race: Irwin wants better communication |

Vail council race: Irwin wants better communication

Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyVail Town Council candidate Dave Irwin works on a home design in his home in the Matterhorn neighborhood.

VAIL ” Vail has been good to him, Dave Irwin said.

“For a ski bum, it’s been a great ride,” he said as he sat in his spacious Matterhorn home.

It’s a home that he built with his own hands, bit by bit. In his living room, he pointed toward this ceiling, remembering where, during a roofless winter of construction, snow was piled high inside the walls.

His own home launched his career as a designer and developer of homes, a business that now takes him all over the country.

It is with gratitude for that success that Irwin is running for Vail Town Council.

“I feel it’s time for me step up to the plate and do something positive for the town,” Irwin said.

Irwin said he has a positive attitude and will try to make Town Council welcoming to residents.

“Hopefully, behind the table, there won’t be a table between me and the people that come to Town Council anymore, but instead feel welcome and honestly talk and help people out,” he said.

Irwin was raised in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport. After college, he was a ski racer, competing in lower-circuit races in Europe.

“When I came home I felt I couldn’t stay in the East so I came out here and started teaching (skiing),” he said.

He moved to Aspen, but after living there for half a season and not finding a decent place to live, he moved to Vail.

Here, he worked as a liftie and a janitor for a while before he got a job as a ski instructor. He liked the atmosphere here.

“It felt like home,” he said. “It was like a family.”

He taught skiing for 10 years, bought a lot of West Gore Creek Drive, and built his home.

From there, he swore off skiing for a while and immersed himself in a new career: designing and building other homes. His company, Nova Group, has built some 80 homes around the valley, as well as homes in more than a dozen other states across the country.

“It’s been a thousand-fold what I’ve ever dreamt,” he said.

In his free time, Irwin enjoys skiing, golf and tennis.

“I pretty much like any sport that’s out there,” he said.

Vail needs more affordable housing, he said.

“The priority is important for everybody ” middle class, seasonal,” he said. “A person needs a home. He works hard, he needs a place to go back to and feel comfortable in.”

The redeveloped Timber Ridge will be a good place for seasonal workers, while Wolcott’s expected development will be a good place for middle-class families, Irwin said.

Irwin said he’s tired of seeing wasteful spending by the town. Installing snow-melting equipment was a mistake, he said.

Guests want to see snow on the streets, he said.

“We talk about environment and ecology, and then we have heated streets,” he said. “There’s a lot of contradiction going on.”

He wants to make the council be friendlier to residents, induce more smiles on the council, and create communications between residents, businesses and Vail Resorts, he said.

“We are here to truly help you and truly listen to you,” Irwin said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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