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Worried about Vail’s future

Anne Marie Perrin

The youth of Vail has voted. The lure was so great. You shall have it all! To belittle the Old Guard and have children heckle the town elders on Election Day does nothing to elevate our collective wisdom. But thank you to the 467 people who voted to rein in massive development. You have spoken THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH.Now, let’s imagine the future of Vail in 20 years. To do so, we must travel to the Alps and see what the unbridled construction has produced in SOME ski towns. You’ll find the same high density, multi-storied buildings, and a very busy highway. You’ll see brown clouds trapped in the deep alpine valleys. Then imagine our brown cloud from the narrows of Dowd Junction to Vail Pass. When you ski in some resorts, the gondola will take you up, through the brown cloud. When you ski down, you’ll have that uneasy feeling of “I do not want to go down there,” same as you would experience driving from Genesee into the Denver brown cloud. Can you see it? The pine trees will have bare branches, same as what we see in our village. But oh so much more! It has a long Latin name, just call it as you see it, another shade of brown. Please, Vail folks, encourage our Town Council to seek the inconvenient truth, to travel to these places, to grasp the big picture, and learn from the mistakes made by others. The best-known Alpine resorts have serious pollution problems. All are trying to back pedal but don’t know how. It is too late! Not all European ski towns are the same. You also will find the “Happy Valley,” where the municipalities consist of the sons and daughters of the founders, the farmers, the ski guides, the inns and shop keepers. They have a vision for their towns, passed on by their mountain-bred folks. Today we call them sages. These valleys have been chosen by a survey of millions of city dwellers, in response to the question: “Where would you most like to spend your vacation to invigorate your health?” Please, new town councilmen and town planners who steer the boat and developers who fuel the same, you come from parts of the country that do not have fragile alpine environments. There is much to learn from our founders, Peter Seibert and others. You need to walk up Vail Mountain as often as they did and imagine Vail 20 years from now. What legacy will you leave? Another way to understand how fortunate we are is to ask our British visitors why they love to come to Colorado? They will give you a candid answer, since they are not speaking of their homeland. They have chosen Vail to get away from the pollution of many European resorts. Loving your children is to look ahead 20 years from now and ask what are you leaving them? Mr. Peter Knobel, be a good example. Be a sage mountain man.We’ll all be grateful for generations to come. Anne Marie Perrin is a longtime Vail resident.Vail, Colorado


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