Vail Valley Voices: Winter of decline or recovery?-
Vail, CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report in November. We plan to publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town.
The summer and fall have not been kind by most reports. Yet optimism still pervades even after the year-long decline in the local economy.
There have been few business closures or storefronts sitting vacant, a tribute to the resiliency of local businesses who have pared back operating costs in response to the consumers’ hasty belt tightening.
There are near-term bright spots, but few indications of a rapid recovery.
Town of Vail revenues continue to sink according to predictions. Granted, much of the economic recovery is beyond the control of the community, but the question remains: Is enough being done locally to prepare for a long-term cycle of recovery?
There is growing awareness by some that Vail entrepreneurs must look to the wider world and seek out new markets in order to prosper in the new economy.
The already steep economic challenges ahead remain the determining factors as to how quickly Vail’s economy will recover.
Worries persist that the worst of the global and national economic turmoil are not past.
Concerns with America’s pressing foreign policy issues have moderated with a change in administration. Americans are better received in the world, even though the underlying challenges remain unresolved.
Influential financial historians and social commentators persist in the view that current government financial policies, along with unrelenting political cultural wars and lack of societal empathy, could still precipitate a further decline.
Expanding government deficits and the prospect of increased taxes and currency devaluation are seen as worrying parallels with the Great Depression.
Vail cannot escape these realities. It can however, recognize them and work to turn them to an advantage.
The dollar’s decline against the euro offers the prospect of increased tourism from Europe.
Much depends on the cost of air travel, which domestically is on the rise, caused by shrinking air fleets and special fees.
Nationally, increased business