Vail Valley Voices: Hope blooms for economy |

Vail Valley Voices: Hope blooms for economy

Vail Homeowners Association
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – A message from the association president: In these challenging economic times, Vail is under pressure from many sides to change; we want to ensure that the changes benefit Vail today and into the future.

Since more than 70 percent of residential property owners are nonresident and do not have voting rights, banding together to communicate clear messages about sustainable growth and quality of life issues is doubly important for maintaining the influence needed to protect our interests.

The Vail Homeowners Association is the voice for residential property owners. We work to reach a consensus, to lend perspective and balance to current issues before the town government and other entities that influence community decisions. We keep members abreast of local developments through our monthly newsletters and other timely communications. Our members make this work possible.

Would you help us expand our efforts today?

Thank you for protecting Vail’s future.

Gail Galvin Ellis

The desire to grab onto positive indicators of renewed growth is creating a tenuous belief that Vail and Eagle County have turned the corner on the Great Recession.

The town of Vail points to its ability to stay within or exceed its downsized budget projections.

Vail Resorts Inc., on the resort side of their ledger, is reporting strong positive growth for the 2009-10 season, as is the national ski-area industry with its second-best season ever.

The number of real estate sales in Eagle County is on the rise, and the number of listings is shrinking, to the lowest number in 15 months, but is expected to rebound once the summer season begins.

All Vail development projects headed for completion: All major development projects in Vail currently under construction are headed toward completion.

The Four Seasons hotel and residences, after a yearlong delay due to construction issues, is now projecting to begin opening operations in December for the holiday season. No new large projects are expected to proceed to construction this year.

Those looking for bright spots in the dismal economy see benefits in further declines in local property values because more employees would be able to purchase a home.

Government officials project a 30 percent decline in property values. There are those saying it’s time to increase densities to incentivize development and re-inflate the property bubble, but this time around, the intent of some policymakers is to drive down values.

These views hold tenaciously to a belief that more real estate development will come to the rescue of the local economy and work force.

Vail’s government in the 1970s and ’80s was committed to restraining growth to enhance property values and protect the community’s environmental assets. The political pendulum shifted in the 1990s to a more risk-prone, aggressive incentivizing of growth, which yielded Vail’s first-ever decline in property values. Some are questioning if this policy is worth pursuing or if a more moderate stance should be taken.

“When?” and “How much?” become the paramount questions. “Not much, nor anytime soon” is the rhetorical answer from some local economic pundits and mortgage bankers. Perhaps toward the end of the decade, say the more pessimistic.

Some economists are looking at methods of stopping property bubbles through taxation and other financial devices.

Meanwhile, foreclosure rates in Eagle County remain on the increase, and unemployment numbers continue to steadily climb, a reflection of national conditions.

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