Vail Daily letter: Too friendly to Wilhelm
August 26, 2010
Vail Daily sliced one out of bounds on Cordillera.
First the Daily publishes an article based on a private letter from the owner of the Club at Cordillera, David Wilhelm, to the members on Aug. 4. In that letter, Wilhelm claims massive losses and points at the existing membership for failing to entice scores of new members to keep the club afloat. And then he says, Oh, by the way, can you nice members please loan me a few million to make it through the rest of the year?
Interesting stuff but hardly newsworthy.
Next, on Aug. 16, the Daily repeats virtually the same story but escalates it to the lead front page, in case any of its readers might have missed it. It’s safe to say that not only are the members angry but also every property owner in Cordillera is upset because real estate values are being damaged by this now-public turmoil.
If that weren’t enough, the Daily also included a companion fear grenade piece by Wilhelm’s lawyer about how bad things are in the golf industry these days.
Was the outlook so wonderful just one year ago when Wilhelm acquired the club? Were Brightwater, Adam’s Ranch and Eagle Springs membership sales any indication of private golf demand here? What happened to that quaint concept “due diligence”?
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Finally, the Daily publishes the feature opinion piece, signed only by the “Editorial Board,” on Aug. 19, calling Wilhelm the “savior” and parroting every one of Wilhelm’s proposals to cure his current woes. Then the Daily has the gall to implore the “furious members” not to quit and to please help the poor guy out. Are you kidding me? Where can one buy this kind of press?
I can only think that Wilhelm is on a FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) campaign to influence the members to buy them out of his bad position and the Vail Daily is acting the role of facilitator and shill.
Cordillera will remain a premier mountain community no matter who owns the golf club. It has incredible views, a very well managed infrastructure, wonderful non-club amenities including miles of hiking trails, private fishing areas, no road noise and great proximity to Vail and Beaver Creek. The community provides a ton of local employment and pours millions into charitable causes throughout the Valley. The Vail Daily should focus on that and get out of the FUD business.
Editor’s note: Perhaps Mr. Bentley should read the editorial again, particularly the last line – “There was no savior after all.”