Zalaznick: Reinvention takes a nap in Avon
Vail CO, Colorado
That’s the best Avon can come up with for the big street in the jazzy new downtown designed for its west side?
Kind of dull. Like naming a dog Spot or Fido.
The town’s goal is to revitalize the valley’s most tangled-up business district. But using the name Main Street is more likely to intensify Avon’s long, roundabout struggle for an identity.
With a main street, it’s likely to remain “that town with the annoying traffic circles on the way the Beaver Creek.”
“Which town do you mean?”
“The place between Vail and Edwards.”
“Oh yeah, where Wal-Mart and Home Depot are. I’ve been to the City Market.”
Sharing a name with 7,000 other streets in the U.S. is hardly a way to stand out, hardly a way to crawl out from under Vail’s shadow or stop the wave of shoppers and diners rolling down Highway 6.
Wait a minute. Perhaps the town council is trying to be ironic in expecting such a drab name like Main Street to come screaming out of the travel brochure and literally force people to vacation in the so-called “Heart of the Valley.”
(“Say honey, this Avon place has a Main Street.”
“Wow! How clever.”
“Yeah, it must be like a joke ” a secret code that means it’s really exciting and edgy and different.”
“Book a room on Main Street!”)
Well, irony may be a proven marketing technique for Apple computers and other high-tech gadgets, but not for tourism. Gen-X cynicism simply doesn’t translate into the kind of carefree fun the kind of people who go on ski vacations are looking for.
Seriously, Main Street?
None of the luster of a Bridge Street ” the cobblestoned center of the skiing-and-shopping universe ” is going to rub off on a Main Street; on a Powder Day Way, perhaps, but not a Main Street.
Main Street is not going to convert very many of Riverwalk’s regulars the way a Sweet Singletrack Street or Radical Rapids Road might lure folks upriver from Edwards.
Really, how often does the opportunity to name a batch of streets come around? I, for one, would love that opportunity: How about Bush Is An Idiot Boulevard? Or Pink Floyd Plaza or Monty Python Place or The Moby Dick Strip.
That last combines the wildness of Vegas with the profundity of an English lit. lecture. Yipeeee!
But as awesome as those names are, they wouldn’t say much about Avon, which is neither particularly psychedelic, home to giant white whales nor a bastion of bizarre British comedy.
Avon’s about the outdoors ” the slopes, the hiking trails, the river. A good, memorable street name reflects its environment, and the valley is an exciting, energizing place without the crime or traffic that blight most of places that have Main Streets.
Though, as we all know, Avon has its own hard-earned blight, its streets still deserve names that add to the sense of fun and adventure.
How about Downhill Drive or Long Relaxing Hike Lane or Apres Ski Ave.
Seriously. We’re a ski town, a vacation town, a place where people ” even the locals ” get away from it all, and we should be reminded of this as often as possible.
This valley’s just too beautiful to be dragged down by another mundane Main Street.
Note: The Avon Town Council may use any of the street names suggested above free of charge. I just want a bronze bust in the new roundabout on Volkswagen-Sized Mogul Street.
Assistant Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or email@example.com.