Chapin: Why I’m running for Vail Town Council

Dave Chapin
Valley Voices
Dave Chapin.

I’ve decided to run for Vail Town Council again because experienced leadership is very important as our town confronts the many challenges in our near future. These challenges mirror the issues that have always risen to the top in our community surveys, those being housing, sustainability, and prudent capital investment. We are in a period of possible very significant capital investment in our infrastructure and town-owned property and facilities. This is why I believe the town of Vail’s budget is the most important task ahead of the next Town Council.

I believe guest experience is a challenge that also needs to be included as a top priority for the next council. Our best source of revenue growth is return customers. Sales tax is the main component of our general fund and our guests’ spending drives sales tax. Vail is viewed as expensive by many, but guests are willing to pay and return if the experience warrants the price. Ensuring that experience requires a happy, welcoming, labor force, particularly amongst our younger citizens. Listening to our younger service workers on how to enhance their quality of life will allow them to present a positive attitude when dealing with our guests. 

Vail Resorts needs to be a contributor in this realm. We can accomplish more as “partners” in employee and guest experiences and, of course, housing. Vail Resorts does a lot with its own employees but needs to contribute more to help all of our local businesses. Clearly, the relationship between the town and Vail Resorts needs to be improved. I believe there’s an opportunity to “start over” and regain a mutual understanding of what’s best for our citizens most importantly, but our guests as well. 

Sustainability as a focus should be a consideration in all of our guests’ and citizens’ experiences. This can come in many forms, though this focus shouldn’t be a heavy personal financial burden on our citizens. The town should contribute reasonable financial resources to environmental sustainability programs.

Economic vitality is critical to our future success and “things to do in Vail” besides skiing and all of our other recreational activities are very important. We have some great shopping and events in Vail but need to always make sure these are as close to “world-class” as possible.

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I’ve been able to represent our town on a local, state, federal, and international level and it has shown me the power of the Vail brand. We’re viewed as leaders in the mountain travel and lifestyle scene. We need to maintain and enhance that brand. Our peer towns always want to know how Vail did it and follow or learn from many of our policies and accomplishments.

We have some great opportunities to partner with our neighboring communities but need to always put Vail locals first. “Local” privilege needs to be considered more in our decision-making as it relates to parking, housing and transportation. I hope in the future kids that grew up here will have the possibility to live here with their families.

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I believe I bring a pragmatic, reasonable, prepared approach to decision-making. My previous experience as a mayor, council member, and almost 20 years of other town of Vail board experience will allow me to hit the ground running. I will always consider what decision best serves the greater needs and highest reward to all of the Vail community, West Vail to East Vail, when making town decisions. I will be prepared and honored to represent Vail again if elected.

Vail is a special place, a special mountain, let’s keep it that way.

Thanks for your vote!

Dave Chapin, the mayor of Vail from 2015 to 2021, is one of 10 candidates running for four seats on the Vail Town Council in the Nov. 7 election.

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