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Chapin: Stronger together

Dave Chapin
Valley Voices

“In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happened.”  — Tommy Lasorda

Tommy Lasorda may have been speaking about baseball, and while I’m not a Dodgers fan, never has this statement been truer than today as we face the novel coronavirus public health crisis in our community and beyond. In Eagle County, we have witnessed strong leadership, innovation, creativity, persistence and perseverance in addressing the many challenges presented by COVID-19.

A multitude of local and regional groups have collaborated to identify solutions to our social, economic and health challenges so that together, as a community, we can move forward, incrementally, with appropriate checks and balances.

Thanks to Eagle County Public Health, Vail Health, and our health care workers and first responders, whose service and dedication provided not only exceptional health care for the sick, but also a bold path forward, emphasizing personal responsibility and our shared pledge to keep Eagle County and the Town of Vail strong and ready with our 5 Commitments of Containment:

  • I will maintain 6 feet of social distance.
  • I will wash my hands often.
  • I will cover my face in public.
  • I will stay home when I am sick.
  • I will get tested immediately if I have symptoms.

Our nonprofit organizations, including the Vail Valley Partnership, the Vail Valley Foundation, and many more, have led the formation of task forces to tackle business sector-specific challenges and to facilitate effective operations throughout the town and county.

The Vail business community has stepped up with creativity and optimism, expanding their footprints to provide outdoor spaces for guests and residents to enjoy their culinary offerings and store merchandise, while simultaneously recreating their products and services to respond proactively to the ever-changing customer demand. We welcome the opening of Vail Mountain with protocols committed to safety first.

Our event producers have shown a tremendous level of flexibility and commitment in reimagining what events might safely look like in the context of our public health priorities. Our new events calendar is responsive to guidelines to protect public health. While modified, our events will continue beloved Vail traditions and provide socially distanced opportunities to enjoy our favorite music and activities in Vail. Look for pop-up performances, modified venues, and new ways to enjoy old favorites like Bravo! concerts at the Ford Amphitheater and Vail Jazz.

Employees and residents alike have shown resilience and care for one another. Vail Health employees and volunteers gathered at Donovan Pavilion in May to sew masks to distribute, while residents brought meals or shopped for isolated or vulnerable neighbors. Examples of kindness and generosity are everywhere as I witnessed first-hand after contracting the virus in March.

Workers in businesses deemed essential have provided for all of us, respecting mask and distancing protocols as they continue to provide food, shelter and health services to the community. Masked Vail bus drivers transport us, while flower crews, masked and distanced, beautify our streets and gardens. We are grateful to all these folks.

The community has come together to celebrate diversity and to peacefully protest racism in all its forms and particularly in policing. Meanwhile, local law enforcement agencies including Vail have stood with the protesters to address violence and racism and are committed to addressing these issues and to strive for equal treatment for all.

We would like to thank the entire community, all of those who are making it happen. Not watching it, not wondering about it, but stepping in with a helping hand, wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, and remaining committed to providing the best possible Vail experience for residents and guests alike. Please enjoy our Fourth of July celebration safely and responsibly — because we are stronger together.

Dave Chapin is the mayor of Vail. Email him at dchapin@vailgov.com.


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