Vail Daily letter: Look beyond the PR spin
Vail, CO Colorado
The mayor of Lee’s Summit, Mo., brought into Eagle to smooth over fears regarding the $9 million loan her city gave RED Development to help finish a new project it started, has inadvertently let the cat out of the bag on the sales tax revenue Eagle River Station would bring into Eagle. Quot-ing the Vail Daily piece on her in the Dec. 8 issue, “Messerli (the mayor of Lee’s Summit) characterized the Sum-mitwoods development (RED’s previ-ously existing, nine-year-old, 800,000-square-foot shopping center there) as a success that generates $1 million in revenue annually for the city of 93,000 residents.”
Lee’s Summit is not only a city of 93,000 residents; it is a suburb of Kansas City, a huge market. And Lee’s Summit garners $1 million from an 800,000-square-foot commercial property. Does anybody else think, ” That sucks!”?
What does this mean for Eagle, a town of 5,500 residents, looking at a 550,000-square-foot commercial-space- to-be in Eagle River Station, and it is a suburb of what? Vail? It’s time to look at the reality of what the town of Eagle’s give-away of 75 percent of the sales tax rev-enue for 20 years back to the develop-er means and not what the developer’s PR spin says it does.
Come to think of it, doesn’t it seem a little weird that the Summitwoods development generated $9 million of revenue for the city of Lee’s Summit over nine years, and now the board of Lee’s Summit is giving a $9 million loan to RED Development to complete another project? That’s a net gain of zero dollars for the residents of Lee’s Summit. Somebody is making money there, but it ain’t the townsfolk.
Dave Eckardt, Eagle