Vail Daily letter: Prepare for the crisis
Vail, CO Colorado
This past weekend, I bicycled through Vail on my four-passes autumn route. Beautiful! Excel-lent piece on Vail’s “less bad is their new good.”
I invite you to sink your quill deeper into Vail’s growing eco-nomic conundrum. Within seven to 10 years, according to Chris Steiner, author of “$20 Per Gal-lon,” gasoline will hit $10 a gallon and rise from there all the way to $20 a gallon. Europe sports $8 a gallon in 2009.
For a sobering reality check, in his book, Steiner said that resorts such as Vail, Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Jackson Hole, Wyo., will all see their ski-er visits plummet as airfares become too costly for winter and summer tourists. Every-thing will change; it will change big time! Steiner said when gasoline hits $ 12 a gallon, com-mercial airlines will become dinosaurs and DIA will become a graveyard for airplanes. Those with giant motor homes and yachts will not be able to fill their tanks from the cost of gas. Thus, yachts will become plastic floating bathtubs and those land yachts will become museum pieces at best. SUV numbers on our highways will drop like a brick in water.
The fact grows that gasoline will inevitably become more costly, and there will be less of it. As that occurs, Vail Associates might better start preparing itself for a complete economic para-digm change. Work on mass transit, train transit, electric tran-sit. More than likely, Colorado communities must move toward “steady state economics” in order to survive the coming rise in fuel prices. There may be a short “kind of” recovery, but in the end, gasoline prices and jet fuel will cause a decline in skiers and summer visitors. It’s coming as surely as the dawn. Seven years flies by in a blink!
In my own recently published book, “America on the Brink: The Next Added 100 Million Ameri-cans,” our accelerating popula-tion will hasten the rise in gaso-line prices as we add 100 million people by 2035 – a mere 26 years from now. Thus, we find our-selves in a Faustian bargain, and avoiding it in the short term will equate to a Hobson’s choice in the long run.
I suspect that when you pub-lish this piece, it will shake up a lot of Vail Associates. But better to know what’s coming and think of ways to mitigate and/or lessen the impact rather than to ride into the crisis with no idea of how you will solve it for the better-ment of Vail and, in the end, all of Colorado and her residents.
– Frosty Wooldridge, Golden