Vail Daily letter: Fear not, Eagle |

Vail Daily letter: Fear not, Eagle

Rob and Dawn Riddle
Vail, CO, Colorado

We live, vote, and pay taxes in the town of Eagle. We love this beautiful place where we’ve chosen to live and want to maintain its unique character. We hope to live the rest of our lives in this community. But we are concerned about the economic future of Eagle.

According to the Eagle 2012 budget, our town manager states, “The budget indicates the long-term need for the town to increase its sales tax and employment base.” Also included in this budget is a staff recommendation for another 5 percent monthly water rate increase and another $2 sewer rate increase – the third year in a row!

Simply stated, Eagle needs to grow its retail business base to increase tax revenues.

It’s natural to fear the unknown and not want anything to change. But growth is a requirement for sustaining life and shouldn’t be feared.

As a former small-business owner in Eagle County, we remember well the fear and anxiety created by a new shopping center in Avon during the early 2000s. We personally feared the competition from the big boxes — Home Depot and Walmart.

Our fear was unfounded. Our business actually doubled during the opening year of these retail stores. We focused on our point of differentiation … what we could do better. And interestingly, the geographic base of our customers grew. We began seeing customers from Steamboat Springs, Granby, Kremmling, Breckenridge, Glenwood Springs, Aspen, etc.

The brand name retailers, Home Depot and Walmart, brought shoppers into our community, benefiting all businesses.

We believe our community has been offered a growth opportunity with Eagle River Station. While not a perfect solution, we believe ERS will allow Eagle to grow its sales tax and employment base without requiring funding or incurring liability from the taxpayers of the town.

Please take time to read all information on this web site: Learn the facts. Do not let fear control our future.

Rob and Dawn Riddle

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