Vail’s vision too broad?
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – As the Vail Town Council wraps up its vision for the next few years, some members worry the council has too many ambitions and not enough time.
Town staff presented members with a 28-page document Tuesday outlining the various ideas members have brought up in both the council retreat last December and the visioning meeting Jan. 19.
The list may be too far-reaching and unrealistic, said Councilman Andy Daly.
Daly said when he looks back to his first two years on the council, he regrets not accomplishing a lot of the goals that council established.
“We have 28 pages of really outstanding ideas, but it’s not all achievable,” Daly said. “We need to narrow this down to what our top four to six goals really are.”
Daly said the obvious answers are parking, the economy and the town’s capital improvement priority list – topics that keep coming up among members and need attention sooner rather than later, he said.
Mayor Dick Cleveland agreed that the town’s vision lacks the focus that it needs.
“I think we are getting, as a council, way too focused on specific actions,” Cleveland said. “Our job is to guide the town through the next five years, not the next one year. I think we’re losing track of the big picture.”
Just about everything in the 28 pages of visioning session outcomes relates back to economic development and economic sustainability, Cleveland said.
Cleveland said parking, guest services, transit, increasing business during off-seasons and the use of the $9 million conference center fund are some of his number ones, all which relate back to economic development, he said.
“I’m concerned we’re getting bogged down with day-to-day operations and we’re losing track of the future,” Cleveland said. “We have got to narrow this (list) down significantly to have any impact.”
Town Manager Stan Zemler agreed to consolidate the list more, but some of the list’s top priorities like maintaining Vail’s postcard image and getting the resort back to the No. 1 spot in the Ski Magazine rankings mean a lot of the little things are going to need to be addressed.
“It’s one thing to say let’s pick two to three issues, but another when you say you want to be the postcard image or No. 1,” Zemler said.
Cleveland is concerned if the council focuses on too many little things that members will lose track of the overall vision, which he said is the community’s long-term viability.
Daly wants to get to the town’s financial planning right away. He said the town needs to get a five-year forecast and develop a capital investment plan as soon as possible.
“We need to have a solid discussion, and tie the capital plan to the strategic plan to make sure we’re in sync.”
Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at email@example.com or 970-748-2983.
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