Vail rec district candidate: Jeff Wiles
VAIL, Colorado ” If you ski or golf in Vail, you’ve probably met Jeff Wiles.
On Vail Mountain, he’s often the guy who keeps the raving mob alternating in polite fashion at the Vista Bahn maze on powder-day mornings.
At the Vail Golf Course, he’s been a starter for two decades.
“I like people,” Wiles said. “I like to talk to people. I like to have conversations with people.”
Wiles, 52, is hoping to bring his people skills and love of recreation to the Vail Recreation District. He’s running for a spot on its board of directors in the May 6 election.
Three candidates ” Ross Davis Jr., incumbent Michelle Hall and Wiles ” are running for two spots.
The Vail Recreation District ” which extends slightly beyond the borders of the town of Vail ” is a special district that’s separate from the town. It runs the Vail Golf Club, the Ford Park Tennis Center, the Dobson Ice Arena, the Gymnastics Center, intramural sports and children’s camps. The average Vail property taxpayer pays 6.6 percent of his property tax bill to the rec district.
Wiles, an East Vail resident, is a newcomer to politics, but has experience with the rec district, where he’s been an employee for many years.
“I think it’s time I get involved more than just being an employee,” Wiles said.
Vail needs to be No. 1 not just for skiing, but for recreation year-round, he said.
“We get No. 1 in the ski magazines and stuff, but I want Vail to be No. 1 in summer and winter,” he said. “And I think the Vail rec district has a direct impact on the perception and the entertainment value that people get here in the summers.”
Wiles said the district needs to figure out long-range plans for its facilities.
“What are we looking to do for the next five, 10, 15, 20 years?” he said.
He also said the town needs to work out its leases with the town of Vail, which owns facilities such as the golf course and Dobson Arena.
Wiles works for Vail Resorts as the supervisor of the Yellow Jackets, which are on-mountain guest-service workers. The Kansas native moved to Vail in 1982 after attending the University of Kansas. Upon he arriving here, he worked for the Westin and the Evergreen Lodge before moving to Vail Associates, where he’s worked since 1986.
He’s an avid skier (he’s one of those people who ski 100 days a year) golfer (he plays in the Vail Men’s League) and baseball fan (he goes to lots of Rockies games).
The current rec board is doing a good job, Wiles said, and Director Mike Ortiz is a “huge asset.” And the board and the Town Council have a good relationship now, Wiles said.
“It seems like there’s more communication between the two than there has been in the past,” he said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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