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Zalaznick: Re-imagining Eagle County

Matt Zalaznick
Vail CO, Colorado

What does a deed restriction look like? Because that would be a good symbol for Eagle County.

Just in case you’ve missed all the hub-bub, Eagle County (the government) is going to redesign its eagle-flying-around-a-mountain logo. And it’s not getting creative in a vacuum ” it’s conducting a survey to find out what people think of our thriving valley before they (meaning an out-of-town consultant) put pen to paper, or mouse pad to pixel, or however counties redesign logos these days.

OK, so a deed restriction is hard to illustrate ” or, at best, a housing contract’s a pretty drab logo. Don’t worry Eagle County, I’ve got a dozen other ideas: Real estate agents chasing working families up Tennessee Pass toward Leadville? Or a bunch of young professionals whining about not being able to buy a house?

How about this for a slogan (it could go under a huge mansion with dark windows): “If you want to own a home, go back to Minnesota or Kansas! No one’s forcing you to live here. If the market wanted you here, you’d be here. It’s not the government’s job to subsidize your mortgage you socialist …” But that’s a mouthful of a motto.

The housing problem’s just another minor issue the media has overblown because the local paper has turned communist over the last few years. The editorial board has long supported taxing developers out of their livelihoods and using the revenue to build cheap but dignified apartments for illegal immigrants and Army deserters.

There must be a logo in there somewhere.

Speaking of evil developers, another suitable logo might be the county commission lying in front of a bulldozer. That would tell all those dirt merchants out there that you just can’t buy up parcels of land and build whatever you want in Eagle County anymore.

Another appropriate logo would be county commissions yanking public benefits ” parks, bus stations, bowling alleys, waterslides ” out of the pockets of 10-gallon-hatted Texans who are trying to break ground on some new 18-story complex at the Edwards intersection.

On the other hand, if you wanted a pro-business logo, you could have a pile of Costcos and Wal-Marts (with cheap merchandise spilling from the front doors) flattening local, over-priced boutiques.

But speaking of slow growth, the new logo could also warn potential relocators and business-doers that Eagle County, politically speaking, is no longer a haven for right-wing ranchers and neoconservative war-mongers (even though Dick Cheney has U.S. Highway 6 closed every summer so he can get from the airport to his secret meetings at Beaver Creek).

John Kerry, who got more votes than W. in 2004 in Eagle County, may not win a lot of support as a new logo, but a donkey nudging an elephant down I-70 toward Grand Junction and Utah might work. Such a logo might even help beleaguered mountain Republicans ” it could alert the rest of the country to send in some reinforcements.

Actually, I doubt any of the aforementioned designs create the image the county is trying to spread.

The new logo is supposed to excite locals, attract tourists and even lure some new residents to the mountains. The new logo should focus on the community’s strengths, not its controversies.

It’s hard to illustrate not having any real traffic or violent crime. So should we go with skiing, hiking, fishing, kayaking ” a potpourri of recreation? Or do we want to be more than just a place to play? Local politicians these days love to talk about retaining a community feel.

Hey, let’s focus on the foresight of our highly qualified elected leaders. Our new logo should honor them. Our new logo should be our leaders sitting around a table … designing … a …. new … logo!

Assistant Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.


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