What decides community
Vail Village is a shopping center on the way to the ski slopes. Lionshead is much the same. And West Vail more closely mimics the traditional neighborhood strip mall.Business is hurting for the smaller stores, thanks mainly to the construction blitz. But also customer habits change, and these days there’s a ton of competition west of Dowd Junction.Yet rents remain ridiculously high. That may well be the biggest problem for the future of community stalwart businesses trying to stay afloat amid seas of tourists.Let’s put it this way: the community of Vail is far smaller than the resort destination by the same name. Judging by the continuing hand wringing over whether Vail is a community or a resort, this rather obvious fact keeps being ignored.But people do live in Vail. They elect town councils and recreation district boards as a community. A fabulous pavilion, library, gymnastic facility, neighborhood parks primarily serve the community.Ski slopes, hospital, amphitheater, ice arena, golf course – you could say these are shared resort-community amenities. And the part of the community that can afford it enjoys the restaurants and art galleries and so on that exist because of the visitors.It’s the second-home folks – our tweeners straddling resort and community – who will settle how far community reaches, and whether that extends to quaint shops such as bookstores. Vail, Colorado
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