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Vail rec district candidate: Ross Davis

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyVail rec district candidate Ross Davis says he's proud Dobson Arena and the golf course were renovated while he was on the board from 1996-2002.
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VAIL, Colorado ” Ross Davis Jr. first skied Vail in the spring of 1962. That’s right, the spring ” Vail opened later that year.

Davis’ father was friends with Vail founder Peter Seibert, and Davis went up Vail Mountain in a snowcat before the lifts were running.

So did he know then that Vail would become the world-class ski mountain it is today?

“I was 13,” he said. “I didn’t know anything.”

Davis, who served on the Vail Recreation District board of directors from 1994-2002, is running to get back on the board.

The election is May 6. Three candidates ” Davis, incumbent Michelle Hall and Jeff 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.

Davis, 59, an East Vail resident who is an attorney, cites renovations to Dobson Arena and the Vail Golf Club as accomplishments during his previous tenure on the board.

“I was proud of what we were able to accomplish,” he said.

Davis touted the district’s renovations of maintenance facilities at the golf course in the late ’90s.

But Davis left the board in 2002 amid criticisms of the $3.5 million Dobson renovations, which replaced the refrigeration system and improved access but saddled the district with annual debt payments.

Opponents objected to the district making that spending decision without asking voters. The district asked the town of Vail to pay $2.5 million, but the town said “no.”

If he’s elected, he would work to fix aging facilities, such as the golf course’s irrigation system and clubhouse, he said.

“The Vail Recreation District faces what I would probably characterize as deferred maintenance challenges,” he said.

Getting money for those improvements will probably mean asking voters for a tax increase, he said. He admitted that people seem reluctant to pass tax hikes.

“Our challenge is going to be to figure out how to do it,” he said.

Davis said, ultimately, his experience with the rec district will make him a good director. He said he approves of the job that the current directors and staff are doing, and he won’t be “shaking things up.”

“I wouldn’t characterize myself as an agent of change,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.


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