Who’s in bed with whom? | VailDaily.com
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Who’s in bed with whom?

David O. Williams

OK, if Tuesday’s Vail Town Council vote to put the conference center on the Hub Site was such a win-win, why didn’t we start there in the first place?Instead of all the campaign materials used to secure a 44-vote margin of victory for the tax increases to pay for the facility stating that it would be built on donated land at the Holy Cross Site, why wasn’t it billed as being built on town-owned land at the Hub Site?For the record, I support the center and feel it will be an economic boon for the lodging, retail and restaurant industries in Vail. I also think the Hub Site makes more sense and that Vail Resorts’ offer of $4.3 million to build another deck on the Lionshead Parking Structure will only strengthen the project and goes a long way toward solving the weekend, ski-season parking nightmare.But the voters were definitely sold a bill of goods.If a petition push to have Vail residents re-vote on the tax hikes is legally viable and enough signatures are gathered to go back to the polls (which seems highly likely given the closeness of the original election), town council and Vail Resorts officials have only themselves to blame.I also have to question the method by which Vail Resorts made its most recent offer.CEO Adam Aron made the proposal in a column in the Friday, May 16 Vail Daily, in which he said such a move to the Hub Site would free up the Holy Cross Site for employee parking displaced by the redevelopment of Lionshead.He also said he hoped the community would get behind the return of parking at Ford Park, which I called for in last week’s column (though I don’t think he was swayed by my sentiments).A company official has since told me that the column was finalized too late to go into last Friday’s Vail Trail, though no one called to ask me what my deadline was Thursday.Instead, I think The Trail is being snubbed because of what is likely perceived as an anti-center slant, though I promise you it’s just unbiased coverage of a juicy news story.The Vail Daily, however, cannot make such claims. Readers need to question the cozy relationship between VR and our daily paper of record, specifically as it relates to publisher Steve Pope, chairman of the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau, the leading advocate of a convention facility.Finally, the publicly traded ski company needs to get its story straight on why it often refuses comment to reporters’ inquiries.I have been told on several occasions that SEC “full-disclosure” regulations prevent the targeted release of information to one media outlet. Information that could affect stock price, they claim, has to be released widely not to one media source so it can’t be construed as insider information.If that’s the case, why then the favoritism shown the Vail Daily last Friday?


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