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Vail Daily letter: Leaders or sheep?

Lisa Zimmermann
Vail, CO Colorado
letters@vaildaily.com

Does the town of Vail and Town Council have amnesia? I am not one to mince words or play the political correct games that a small town thrives on. I believe in the First Amendment, freedom of speech and with the First Amendment come consequences – black balled, the rebel, the outsider – but that is what makes this country so great.

The town of Vail along with Vail Associates in 1989 and 1999 hosted the World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail. The Town Council, town manager, and mayor at this time in history were not in an umbilical cord relationship with Vail Resorts, as the Town Council, town manager, and mayor are in 2011.

The town of Vail and Vail Resorts umbilical cord relationship began with the billion dollar redevelopment. This was the beginning of the end for the town of Vail to project itself as a thriving year-round independent community verses the claustrophobic seasonal town Vail Resorts has created.

We all as independent community residents would agree that the Vail Village ticket office needed a facelift, and we all agreed that preserving open space within the town of Vail was a priority, but for some unknown reason the Town Council, town manager and mayor were not on the same page as the residents of Vail.

When the redevelopment at the base of the Vista Bahn and Pepi’s Face (formerly International) was in the beginning stages, where were the visionaries of the Town Council, town manager and mayor? Why was there a fixation only on real estate development? Why did the Town Council, town manager and mayor not support the woman from Texas, who has very deep pockets, fight Vail Resorts over the development?

Why would the Town Council, town manager and mayor choose to agree with Vail Resorts to burrow and shave the base of Pepi’s Face, (even though they had Forest Service approval in an exchange), build million-dollar chalets and private parking spaces to sell, and extend out the Vail Village ticket office to impede on open space? The Town Council, town manager and mayor had the power to stop this outrageous, infringing, claustrophobic development.

So, here we are in 2011 with tears in our eyes and stomachs becoming ulcerated, as the town of Vail has been eaten up and spit out once again by the shrewd Wall Street boys of Vail Resorts.

It is absolutely nauseating that the Town Council, town manager and mayor forgot what makes a ski town. Ski events! Where was the historical on this plot of land that is the core of transporting persons from the base of Vail Village to Mid-Vail to begin their ski experience? This plot of open space land accommodated a massive grandstand that the world viewed in 1989 and 1999 and ended slalom and giant slalom races. Wow, all in the core of Vail Village with end-of-the-day presentations at the Children’s Fountain.

And today in 2011, Vail Resorts is now asking the town of Vail if they want to hold the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail, Vail will have to open their coffers and pay to move the Vista Bahn at a price tag of $2 million dollars and $5 million dollars for all the other costs. Inconceivable!

Can I ask the Town Council, town manager and mayor, are you still thinking that the Vail Resorts real estate development of Ever Vail is really in the town of Vail’s interest and the year-round residents’ interest? Another plot of land that is open space with views of the mountains soon to be overtaken by skyscraping buildings, all for the lining of the pockets of Vail Resorts. Has the Town Council, town manager and mayor not been embarrassed enough? Leaders are leaders and sheep are sheep, baaaaaaaaaa!


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