Chapin: Pulling together as a community to make a difference
Wow! After 200 or more public meetings and numerous other ceremonies, groundbreakings, and celebrations, it’s hard to believe that it’s time to step aside. It has been such an honor to serve our community as a member of the Vail Town Council and especially as mayor for six of the past eight years. I have interacted with so many amazing people and have experienced and learned so much during this time.
One of my greatest takeaways has been the way this community has consistently pulled together to celebrate, innovate, lead and problem-solve with such spirited passion and conviction. There are so many examples that come to mind, too many to list.
Together, we’ve welcomed the world as we hosted the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships, we’ve celebrated our 50th anniversary in the company of living legends, we were proud to help sponsor the Burton US Open Snowboarding Championships, we became the first Certified Sustainable Destination in America, and created the Vail InDEED housing program which has become a model for other communities.
Together, we’ve become the most connected resort in North America with our Vail free Wi-Fi system, we’ve seen improvement in the quality of our gold medal stream as a result of our Restore the Gore program, we’ve revised our building codes to help protect the community from wildfire, we’ve taken the bold step to launch Discover Vail as our destination marketing platform, we’ve expanded our partnerships with the business community to recognize our front-line employees in providing a seamless guest experience, and we’ve partnered with Vail Resorts to build a parking structure. Here too, we’ve expanded our international relationships through our Global Friendship program, we’ve supported the many iconic events held here, and have helped with upgrades to our golf course and other recreation amenities.
In our neighborhoods, we’ve worked together to improve our parks, added an underpass to connect the north and south sides of our community, designated additional open space, adopted a master plan to retain the local qualities we value in West Vail, and started a new tradition with the Vail Social community potluck. Together, we’ve added a significant number of deed-restricted homes throughout the community, including the Chamonix Vail neighborhood, as we strive to meet our goal of 1,000 new deed-restrictions by the year 2027.
With the support of our community, we’ve managed our finances with great care, and approved ballot questions that will stabilize and enhance our revenue streams. We’ve embraced expansion of the Vail Health campus, adopted a master plan for our civic area, championed completion of a new preschool facility, worked to improve habitat for our wildlife, enjoyed the diverse programs and activities offered by our public library and Art in Public Places, paid tribute to our police department for keeping us safe, and given high praise to our bus drivers, flower crew, snowplow drivers and all of the other town employees, including our town manager, who take great pride in making Vail the best place to be.
Most importantly, when the pandemic hit, we rallied together with programs and assistance to help us get back on our feet. The business and nonprofit community rallied to collaborate with us on solutions that kept Vail safe and protected our way of life during the pandemic.
These experiences and so many others show the remarkable attributes of a community that comes together to make a difference. I have no doubt this incredible legacy that is rooted in Vail’s founding all those years ago will continue well into the future.
Thank you for the privilege to serve.
Dave Chapin is the former mayor of Vail. He was first elected by his colleagues in 2015 and was reappointed twice more, serving six years in the leadership role. He was term-limited in November after serving on the Town Council for eight years.