Zalaznick: Ill never leave Vail, or Edwards or … |

Zalaznick: Ill never leave Vail, or Edwards or …

Matt ZalaznickVail CO, Colorado

Whats there to do in Edwards? Why would anyone spend the night west of Dowd Junction? These are the sentiments of a renter who couldnt imagine being more than a few stops of the West Vail green bus away from the base of Vail Mountain and the bars in the village. But then Renter and his wife decided theyre done paying someone elses mortgage and wanted a home of their own. So there was a place for sale in Intermountain that still had last seasons lifties names engraved in the wallboard and part of the carpet was on fire. The kitchen cabinets all had locks on them to prevent the lifties from stealing each others food. Renter may not have it right in his memory, but he thinks the place had one bathroom and about seven stories with, like, half a room on each floor. Very cozy. Plus, at the cost, Renter and his wife would have needed to lease a few of those rooms to the very same lifties who decorated the walls. Renter and his wife were trying to buy, of course, to leave the world of such creative, police-attracting roommates behind. In Avon, the only barely affordable place was pretty spiffy inside but located on the median in the middle of I-70 in that new complex, Squealing Breaks Square. Plus, there were seven roundabouts including three that dont make a complete circle between the driveway and the rest of town, except two of the streets are closed for construction of the transit hub and the new downtown. Which means you couldnt leave Squealing Breaks Square on even-numbered days when construction was taking place. Oh, wait, Renter is forgetting the room that was available in a building at the cutting edge of real estate. Instead of a time-share, the unit was a life-share. For what one might pay for a single-family home in much of the rest of the country, Renter and his wife could live in the Avon life-share for two weeks a year. The hook was supposed to be that fractional ownership allowed for fractional home improvement. For instance, Renter could put wood down on 1/12 of the floor or repaint 1/12 of the room, and so on. So Renter settled in Edwards, morphing into First-Time Homeowner in the Promised Land of the upper Vail Valley. Here was a slightly beat-up condominium alongside the Eagle River, surrounded by bike paths, and in walking distance from a pond and the Riverwalk movie theater. Nirvana. Why would First-Time Homeowner even want to leave this sort-of spacious two-and-a-half bedroom spread with the river burbling past 24 hours a day? OK, condo dues, no land but surely First-Time Homeowner was satisfied with his rapidly appreciating piece of the American Dream. And why would anybody move west of Wolcott? Does anybody really live in Eagle and Gypsum, or it just something people say to sound more Country-and-Western, to distance themselves from the decadence and snobbery at the top of the valley?Do they get the Internet or HDTV down there? Does Amazon deliver past Cordillera?Well, the more times First-Time Homeowner visits friends in Eagle or takes Baby First-Time Homeowner down to Brush Creek Park, he finds himself staring longingly at the yards and the open spaces and the strolling families, and thinks, why would any father cram his wife and kids into shadowy West Vail or put up with condo living any longer?He might miss those captivating Broncos games because he now has a lawn to mow and gutters to clean, but at least he no longer depends on the condo association to fix the lights in his gloomy condo stairway that are activated by the outside sunlight sensor and only seem to go on in the dead of moonless nights. So First-Time Homeowner trades his Edwards condo for single-family wonderland in Eagle. Does he break even, or does he have to as he has done before with Edwards and Eagle revisit his opinion of God-forsaken-hey-theyre-not-so-bad places like Rifle and Parachute?Hey, Grand Junction has a Barnes & Noble, an airport and is only a hour to Moab!Come to think of it, whats a single-family home near Arches National Park go for?Assistant Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or

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