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Well, get in line

Kaye Ferry

I have a question. Several, in fact. Why is it that Vail Resorts is only now realizing that they will need a temporary ticket office in Lionshead for this coming winter? They certainly knew their new building wouldn’t be up by then. It’ll barely be down by the beginning of ski season.And then, how about a replacement for the underground tunnel used to transfer food, etc., to the gondola? You may not know that there was an underground tunnel that took on-mountain products under the ski yard into the gondola building for transport up the hill. Of course, that will be eliminated during construction so an alternative needs to be found.But how is it that these issues are just now coming to the surface with temporary solutions that need approval from the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission? Shouldn’t this have been part of the original application? And if somehow Vail Resorts “forgot,” where was Community Development? Isn’t it their job to make sure that all forms are complete and all issues addressed before papers are processed through the system? I might be a little cynical, but I’m generally suspicious when major issues like this “slip through the cracks.” With literally thousands of hours in planning and enough lawyers and development specialists on the payroll to finance many Third World countries for generations, I don’t get it. Every once in awhile, one of my columns provokes comments from unanticipated sources for unanticipated reasons. So the case with the thoughts I shared regarding the Planning and Environmental Commission decision to allow the use of first-floor space on Meadow Drive for a real estate office. Well actually, they’ll only be selling “club shares” for a new project, which is the newest terminology for time shares.The reason given for allowing this previously restricted use was that it is only temporary. To make it worse, much to the dismay of the staff and a lot of interested parties, the Town Council upheld that decision on appeal, giving further validity to the notion that as long as something is temporary, it some how doesn’t need to meet the normal tests of previously established decision-making criteria.As a result, I’ve had quite a few ironic and amusing scenarios presented to me as to what possible defenses might be used in the future when confronted by authority’s regulations.I’m sorry, officer, I was only temporarily going 65 in a 50 mph zone.Hey Dad, I’m only temporarily pregnant. Or I was only temporarily doing drugs. I only temporarily flunked out of school. I temporarily forget to pay my bills. The possibilities are endless, but you get the picture.And then there’s Mr. Vilar. I’ve read with great interest the letters to the editor, Tipsline and this new Wisdom from the Web. I must say, the local public has displayed more gratitude for what he has done for the community than those to whom he has written checks.It’s nice to know that at least some members of the community think that we should allow the mandate of the legal process, innocent until proven guilty, play out before we start renaming all of the facilities to which he gave his name and I might add, his dollars. Let’s talk about the amphitheater, which has so many parts named for so many people that you need a score card. It’s the Ford Amphitheater, Vilar Pavilion, Tang Stage. They already sold the pavers. I suppose if you give them enough money, they’ll start naming the toilets.Those “namings” came at price, although the Ford part may have been free. Anyway, $3.5 million was extracted from Alberto for the right to add his name to the wall. But when all was said and done, however, he only came up with $2 million. So I did the math. With five letters in Vilar, that comes to just under $700,000 a pop. The way I see it, he bought and paid for the V and the I and 86 percent of the L. So the most they can take off the wall is A and R and 15 percent of the L. Or they have to give the $2 million back because, make no mistake, he paid for his name to be on the wall or it wouldn’t be there. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that we need to give the guy a break until some court says he’s guilty of something. Word on the street is that it’s not appropriate to have his name up there next to the president’s. My guess would be that the president, of all people, understands the basic underlying tenants of the Constitution and is willing to let the legal system do its job before doling out punishment. But rest assured, if Mr. Vilar is vindicated, they’ll all be out there drooling over his checkbook once again.On a lighter note, is it truly possible that if you need money, you simply send an invoice to the town of Avon? I heard it happened, and they actually paid! That opens up all kinds of possibilities. Let’s see, the Vail Chamber and Business Association needs donations for the Vail Fourth of July parade and the ski show, just to name a few. Come to think of it, I could use a new bike. Hmmmm. There must be a form here somewhere for an invoice. Anybody short of cash, just address that envelope to 400 Benchmark Road, Avon 81620. Who knows, it may work. I’ve heard of stranger things in this valley. But if not, try the county commissioners. I hear they’ll pay for almost anything.Then there’s the Vail Recreation District. These guys are really honing in on cost-saving measures. No more free tees. Maybe they should also send an invoice to the town of Avon.For past columns, go to vaildaily.com and click on “Columnists” or search for keyword “ferry.” Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. Vail, Colorado


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