Valley Voices: Con " Minturn can do better |

Valley Voices: Con " Minturn can do better

Pete Vance
Vail CO, Colorado

I was really excited to see the Ginn Corporation’s new public relations Web site, I eagerly read through Fred Haslee’s rebukes of the documented facts contained on our site, I have been anxious to see the developers response to the many issues that the citizens of Minturn have with their project and what references they would use to support their claims. I’m still wondering. Fred and Ginn’s new Web site simply says it’s so without reference to the annexation agreement or any other source. Our Web site does.

Reading more, I was further disappointed. Conspicuous by its absence was the developer’s continued lack of interest in pursuing the option of green building concepts in his residential or commercial building plans. Wake up folks! It is time to start using every opportunity at our disposal to turn this sad, seemingly inevitable phenomenon that is global climate change, around.

Towns and counties throughout the west are seeing entire subdivisions spring up that are completely off the electrical grid. In many cases they produce more electricity than they consume. Places like Sacramento, Salt Lake City and Taos, N.M. all are benefiting by demanding that the developer adjust their thinking slightly to accommodate alternative energy systems and recycled building materials in their construction techniques.

Where did all of Bobby Ginn’s trees go that he cleared from his property? Why not to a sawmill on his land next to his batch plant? Why not to the pellet manufacturer in Kremmling?

Why not turn all those precious trees into pellets to make biomass heat or electrical energy for his buildings? What wonderful log and timber frame homes he could have built out of them rather than importing all his building materials from out of state.

He can still do the right thing and reduce his density. He simply needs to build fewer homes and charge more for them. hat’s what they’re doing in these subdivisions in Taos and Salt Lake City. Ginn has stated many times that his clientele is in an even more exclusive category than that of the Vail or Bachlor Gulch crowd.

More and more of this extremely rich demographic are coming each year. They are not only rich but increasingly concerned about the health of the planet.

Let’s say you had a choice between buying two homes, each costing $12 million. One residence was constructed using traditional building techniques. The other home was completely off the grid, if desired. Flip a switch and you’re connected to Holy Cross Energy. Go the other direction and you’re hooked up to the sun or the wind or biomass or hydroelectric energy, to name a few.

Eagle County is gearing up the entire airport to run off the sun. Vail already has photo-voltaics powering their transportation center.

What is Bobby Ginn doing to save the planet here in Minturn? Not enough, in the minds of many citizens of Minturn who have called this town home for generations. He has stated that he’ll “try” and clean up his superfund site, and that he’ll “try” to build some LEED-certified buildings. I’d like to hear him say that he’ll at least TRY to approach achieving a zero carbon footprint as a result of his project.

Society has raised the bar. Ask Bill Ritter. He sees it. These are the new standards we must hold ourselves to as a civilized race. “In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations” ” that from The Great Law of The Iroquois Confederacy.

A new library and a rec center are lovely presents, Bobby Ginn. Doing our part as involved citizens and conscious developers and a pro-active town council to use this development as a model for other environmental communities is a better investment for our next seven generations.

We need to dedicate ourselves to preserving just one small corner of this fast-disappearing wilderness that is the American West. Promoting an ideology of sustainable residential development is an idea whose time has come.

I think if Bobby Ginn is as concerned about the peregrine falcons in Minturn as he is with his bald eagles in Florida then he needs to look into the many, other environmental options available to him to help us all be better stewards of the land.

Pete Vance is a Minturn resident.E-mail comments about this column to

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