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Vail Daily’s view: Pick a better battle, Vail

Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail, CO Colorado
newsroom@vaildaily.com

Some Vail residents are gearing up for battle. The fight brewing is how to keep Vail Valley Medical Center in its namesake town.

We appreciate the sentiment. A hospital, especially a good one, is a feather in the cap of whatever town it’s in. And the fact is that our hospital, and especially the Steadman Hawkins clinic, are part of Vail’s “brand,” part of what makes the town known to people throughout the world.

In this case, though, it’s hard to see how Vail residents can win this fight. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the valley’s population lives west of Dowd Junction, and a hospital should be where most of its patients are.

That’s especially true downvalley, where Vail Valley Medical Center and Glenwood Springs’ Valley View Hospital are competing to care for residents of Eagle and Gypsum, a group that now numbers well more than 10,000 potential patients.

Another strike against the hospital’s current location is space. The hospital simply doesn’t have enough of it in Vail, as anyone who’s tried to park there on a busy day can attest. If Vail Valley Medical Center is going to continue as locals’ medical center of choice, it needs more land, which it won’t find in Vail.

But instead of fighting to keep a space-needy, increasingly uncompetitive hospital in town, Vail residents and town officials need to look ahead for better options. Instead of fighting, let’s find a way to keep some essential services in town, make the facility’s well-known pieces even better-known and find projects and programs that will enhance Vail Valley Medical Center’s growing reputation.

That’s a far more productive idea than fighting what will almost certainly be a drawn-out, and ultimately counterproductive, battle.

Vail Daily Editorial Board


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