Vail Daily column: No to Hidden Gems, yes to ski-area bill |

Vail Daily column: No to Hidden Gems, yes to ski-area bill

Richard tenBraakVail, CO

Well, it’s official – spring is over and summer is here. How do we know this? Well, the weather has been great (no snow in over two weeks). The Teva Mountain Games and South of the Border Fiesta are over and the first Hot Summer Night concert was Tuesday. And if you missed the concert, my new favorite group is Grupo Fantasma. I think they had everyone on their feet dancing.My opinions, for what’s that worth, on a couple of the items that will affect us and our area:• No on Hidden Gems. Keep our public land open for all the public to use, not just a select few. Restricting access is not the answer.• Yes to the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act. Potential to create recreational jobs for the Eagle County area via the ski areas to increase summer offerings. More use of public lands to create jobs and economic vitality, not less.• Yes to redistricting. What is the sense of having Eagle County to Grand Junction in with Boulder. Each area has our own issues. Keep Boulder with the Front Range, put Eagle in with other mountain communities, and put Grand Junction in with other Western Slope communities. This isn’t a Democratic or Republican party issue, it’s a people, economic and geographic issue.• Yes to the Eagle County Economic Development plan. Construction is an important part of our economy, but if we are to keep growth that is sustainable, we need tourism and recreation, health and wellness, and learning and education as our foundation for a positive future• More open space? Really? Over 80 percent of our county is White River National Forest or Bureau of Land Management land that can’t be developed. Keep some space for future generation to call home or make a business• Congratulations to all that helped with the towns and highway clean-up days. Great community spirit. But where does all that trash come from? Isn’t there a way to reduce the amount that has to be picked up each spring? More trash cans? I’m open to suggestions. Or in the words of Michael Keaton as Bill in the 1982 movie Night Shift, speaking into tape recorder “This is Bill. Idea to eliminate garbage: Edible paper. You see, you eat it, it’s gone.”• Shoulder season specials for locals. I was digging it!• Use of the Vail Conference Center Funds. Yes, we need to spend the funds and put all this behind us. Yes there are three good programs that have been proposed. (Golf Course Club House / Nordic Center, Ford Park Sports Complex and Ford Amphitheatre). Yes to let’s get this done! To see exactly how the proposed funds would be spent, go to Would like to see something that really would help drive more destination business in the shoulder seasons, but these are good.• No to frontage road parking, now and in the future whenever possible. Only as a last resort for space on special occasions that both town of Vail parking structures are full. This is a safety issue that the town has now addressed, with the addition of adding more free public transportation at busy times.• Yes to the Lionshead Transit Canter Project. It’s Phase 2 that is being constructed on the south side of the Lionshead parking structure. Many good ideas are being kicked around on how to set up the insides with what services. What ever does get placed in it, it will be a good looking building with top-notch transit and welcome center services and amenities. Additional info is also available at involved and stay informed. If you are not already receiving the VCBA e-newsletter, all you need to do is e-mail us at Vail Chamber & Business Association is the leading business advocacy group in Vail and is a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and Business Association and what we have to offer to business in and that do business in Vail, please contact us at (970) 477-0075 or email Based in Vail Village, our office is located in the transportation center and our doors are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Stop by and say hello!Richard tenBraak is executive director of the Vail Chamber & Business Association

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