Chapin: So much to celebrate in Vail

Dave Chapin
Valley Voices

It’s remarkable how a simple hashtag can bring things into focus. That’s what happened to me, anyway, when Kelsey Montague came to town.

This unassuming, internationally-known street artist was commissioned by Vail’s Art in Public Places to brighten up one of our parking structure entries. Her work has resulted in a playful, interactive mural bursting with color to brighten up a dull and inactive space. In the corner of Kelsey’s mural is the hashtag #WhatLiftsYou.

For me, the hashtag has become a way of thinking about what we all can be proud of in this community. This includes our collective perseverance in finding an appropriate balance in enhancing the guest experience and enhancing the quality of life in our neighborhoods, both of which have been at the forefront of our decisions and community investments.

The most visible of these uplifting examples involves our partners at Vail Health and Vail Resorts.

We applaud Vail Health for undertaking a significant expansion and renovation of its medical facilities in Vail, which when completed in late 2020 will include the finest in medical services and patient care. In addition, Vail Health has pledged $60 million over the next 10 years to transform behavioral health throughout the Vail Valley through the newly founded Eagle Valley Behavioral Health. In partnership with Eagle County and other community groups, EVBH will build needed facilities, improve access to providers and lower barriers to accessing behavioral health care.  

Support Local Journalism

Vail Resorts, meanwhile, is underway with an enormous undertaking in expanding snowmaking infrastructure that will provide access to substantially more terrain on Vail Mountain that will add consistency and predictability to our early-season economy. It is the company’s most significant project this year.

For our part, the town government has been working on a variety of fronts. Ongoing projects have included significant maintenance work at the Lionshead parking structure, renovation of Slifer Fountain in Vail Village, restoration of streambanks along Gore Creek, replacement of the bridge over Bridge Road in East Vail and the acquisition of deed restrictions through the Vail InDEED program to increase the supply of housing for locals.

In addition, the GoPro Mountain Games, Bravo! Vail Music Festival, Whistle Pig Vail concerts, Vail America Days, and other events and activities supported by the town have been contributing to our #VailSummer success.

Also of significance is our master planning work that will create a roadmap for future improvements to our civic sites in the heart of Vail, with particular attention being paid to the undeveloped parcel east of the Lionshead parking structure. In addition, large-scale improvements to our public works facilities on the north side of I-70 are being planned to address future needs and opportunities, including the operation of electric vehicles, solar and additional housing.

While we have much more work to do together as a community in the coming months, including the hiring of a new town manager and a town council election in November, let’s all think about that wonderful hashtag to inspire greatness in us all.

Dave Chapin is the mayor of Vail. Email him at

Support Local Journalism