Vail Daily letter: Must be something else
Vail, CO, Colorado
Eagle has a new town mayor, an evident statement from its citizens against the development plans of Eagle River Station. The Town Board has done what they were required to do, and when ERS is again presented to the town for a referendum vote, I’m confident it will again be defeated.
This just isn’t the time or place for a shopping center, with 550 rental units, etc.
Just last week Neal Conan’s talk show, “Talk of the Nation” on NPR, interviewed experts discussing the decline of retail shopping across America: “We are over-stored” was one expert’s quote (see “The Balance of Power in Retail” from April 3).
With online shopping and the total transformation of our economy, a shopping center is just not the place to put the town’s foundation, with the hope of short-term and questionable construction business and tax revenue.
Shopping centers across the nation are dealing with vacancies and shutting down. What makes anyone think one would succeed here?
However, let’s not be naive. Tax dollars are necessary to maintain Eagle. With patient, creative thought, a solution can be found that honors the town’s history, the natural setting, and our standard of living.
Here are a couple of ideas:
One of the early pioneers of Eagle, John Buchholz, helped build a horse racetrack in the early 1900s. There is no horse racing nearby. Building a race track could be a solution that would support the summer sports of the valley, attract visitors, bring revenue to the town, as well as year-round business from stables, trainers, events, etc.
Or let’s consider the bike enthusiasm of the area. What about a covered velodrome that could host year-round racing events, or what if there was a complex that housed both?
This town is full of creative, intelligent people. Let’s take the opportunity presented here to cultivate a plan that enhances Eagle and the Vail Valley, not rush to the quick status quo solution that worked in the past. Instead, I challenge our new town officials to be proactive and find a broad-minded solution that will work for the future.