Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: With Eagle River Station, it’s deja vu all over again |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: With Eagle River Station, it’s deja vu all over again

The unincorporated area of Edwards is as far west as I have ever lived, with the town of Avon being it for me as far as incorporated townships are concerned.

So I don’t exactly have a dog in the hunt for promoting who does or does not become the next mayor of Eagle, thus grabbing the steering wheel of the new and theoretically improved 2012 ERS (Eagle River Station).

But as I wrote back in December of 2009, I do have an opinion on our Groundhog Day of local issues. Only I can’t decide which side has the more comical Bill Murray.

Although it might appear lazy (shocked, you say, shocked!), a few lines from that column are worthy of repeating as they apply even better now than they did back then.

The issue revolves around those who are convinced they know better than others how to get the town of Eagle from A to B, and will apparently stop at nothing in an attempt to force such “knowledge” upon others.

But like Romney, Santorum and Gingrich constantly attacking each other (and Obama) over every little misconstrued word that can possibly be taken out of context, this is simple democracy at its best and its worst, depending upon one’s perspective at the moment.

For every, “I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could be for it,” I hear just as many, “I don’t see how anyone in their right mind could be against it,” with both playing silly word games over the proverbial definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results).

Once again I want to remind both sides of four seldom-used words situated to their immediate east: The Village at Avon.

What was at one point the largest annexation deal in the state of Colorado involving over 600,000 square feet of proposed commercial retail space and a few thousand residences has 14 years later evolved into little more than two large “anchor” stores, a half-empty, mud-roofed side project and a seasonal dirt patch for Beaver Creek aficionados to pretend to play cowboy.

Plenty of time could be wasted pointing fingers of blame, but the reality for the dearth of construction is based upon simple supply and demand.

Happy Valley is not a large enough market to justify the risks for most national chains, thus nothing else has been built. If anything, our buyers’ market has shrunk due to the economy since the 2009 vote, as most of us need more than one hand to list the families that have been economically forced to leave the valley.

I still think the project has as much chance of succeeding as University of Kentucky students winning the 2012 collegiate Fans of the Year’award, and in some ways the town would have been better off using tax dollars to purchase a few hundred thousand MegaMillions tickets last Friday.

But either shoot this horse and put it down for good or put her in the start gate and let’s see how she runs. Just be done with it, please.

I personally don’t really care either way, but I’ll be glad when it’s over and we can return to condemning one another over which side is less racist as we head into November’s election.

That’s where the real comedy is.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at

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