Vail Daily letter: Retail boosts community |

Vail Daily letter: Retail boosts community

Frances Rolater
Vail, CO, Colorado

On behalf of myself, my family, employees and thousands of retail employees in Eagle County, this message is for Lindy Moore: Shame on you. Perhaps you are a brain surgeon or rocket scientist and so feel justified in your condescending attitude toward “big-box, asphalt-covered, low-paying, part-time and temporary jobs.” I think you should reconsider.

People become retailers for different reasons. Part-time employment can be especially helpful when a family member’s job is lost. That illness is going around here.

Others gravitate to retail because – well – we just like it! My son supports his family as store manager for a big-box pet store. He loves his company, his customers and his job. His income is healthy. Many people follow a career path in retail and work happily.

Personally, we are proud of our retail business and associates.

Retailers leave more good behind than they take away, regardless of where headquarters is or if they are big or small boxes. Of course, they contribute salaries, bonuses, benefits, wages and have service contracts with local companies, but their property tax rate is much higher than yours.

Most importantly, they bring in sales tax revenue. You might not think that is so special or “valley friendly,” but in Eagle, 80 percent of town revenues come from sales taxes. Just 7 percent comes from Broadway, but 40 percent comes from Market Street.

Without sales taxes in our county, nothing gets done or fixed. I think retail employees are some of the most important people here, and you should, too.

Do you think sales tax dollars from small local stores build better streets than those from big boxes? If big boxes really were from “hell,” then why are Target, Michael’s, Petsmart and Kohl’s so popular and successful? Could it be because they offer things that people really need and want, all under one roof and at an affordable price?

Before you start in on “cheap Chinese stuff,” put down your iPhone and go check the labels in your closet. Even good old Keds come from Vietnam now. Local merchants sell lots of things from somewhere else, too.

From your comments, one would think that Kansas City was a suburb of New York City and really the home of Beelzebub. Some of us have actually been there and know that’s not true.

Red Development occupies the enviable position as a respected developer in the shopping-center industry and with retailers of all sizes. They have a successful record of building attractive and well-leased centers in all kinds of markets, and they do not lease exclusively to big boxes. They find a mix of large and small stores that customers really like.

And isn’t that what retail is all about – making the customer happy? I think that is an admirable and worthwhile goal, and I am not ashamed to count myself among the many retailers supporting our economy.

Frances Rolater


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