Vail Daily Editor and Publisher Don Rogers: Biz Bits |

Vail Daily Editor and Publisher Don Rogers: Biz Bits

Don Rogers
Vail, CO Colorado

It’s the Clash of the Titans up in Cordillera now. With Cordillera Club owner David Wilhelm’s $96 million lawsuit primarily focused on a group of dissident property owners he believes are out to bankrupt him, the tilt is on. This is tycoon vs. tycoon. All type A stuff. Best buckle up. Grab the popcorn while you are at it.

The root is that Cordillera is struggling financially and has for some time now, and certainly before Wilhelm bought the club in 2009 with an eye on delivering a grand vision that hasn’t panned out. Golf communities across the country have struggled from a combination of overbuilding, interest in golf waning and then hitting the Great Recession headlong.

While the air is ripe with accusations of criminality all round now, that’s pretty much rhetoric and the fruit of some human principle that there must be someone to blame rather than rather obvious trends at work. The bottom line is the place is torn asunder and there won’t be much working together for some time.

Meanwhile, how will this affect the business of golfing in the valley? Two courses close. Where do the golfers go? Look for other hungry clubs to reach out to this rich market. Loss in Cordillera inevitably means opportunity elsewhere.

And dear God, how does this affect real estate sales up in there in the thin air? Rhetoric or real, Wilhelm’s lawsuit puts each property owner at risk. The Realtors don’t sound too happy. Maybe the unintended consequence is some nervy investors make out on super deals.

However the clash goes, Cordillera ultimately will remain among the elites of the world for what it is.

We just don’t know how many dandelions will have to be plucked from those greens at the other side of this battle royale. Fore!

• • •

Here’s a little market intelligence for summer, gleaned from TripAdvisor’s annual survey of 2,000 U.S. respondents:

• We’re worried about gas prices rising. Seventy-six percent of the respondents said they expect gas to rise over $4.50 a gallon. They’ll cut their driving if it hits $5 a gallon. The maximum they’ll drive for a leisure trip in that case will be 200 miles.

• More people are ready to vacation this summer. Twenty-six percent say they will spend more than last year, while 42 percent say they expect to spend about the same amount. Most plan to stay in hotels.

• Hiking and biking are popular this year. Thirty-three percent of the survey takers said they are going hiking this summer, and cycling is a growing trend with 22 percent saying they plan to ride this year vs. 17 percent last year.

• If the tourism pattern of our fair valley holds from winter’s bounty, we should be a popular destination this summer. Merchants: Make sure your message is out there where the most people will see it. They’ll be in a buying mood.

Don Rogers is the editor and publisher of the Vail Daily and Eagle Valley Enterprise. He can be reached at or 970-748-2929. Share your business story or observation with him for a future column.

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