Vail Daily editorial: Time to look ahead
A newspaper tradition as old as the year in review has a flip side — the look ahead to the coming 12 months.
We’ll play along in this space, but only sort of.
The problem with looking ahead is that even the best predictions are, at best, educated guesses.
With that in mind, here are a couple of our best guesses for the new year:
• Chances are excellent that the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships will be a big hit. Thousands of people will come, and they’ll witness a show put on by both the world’s premier ski racers and the valley itself.
Past performance is no guarantee, of course, but the Vail Valley Foundation does great work putting on big events. We’re confident their years of effort will pay off the first two weeks of February.
• Given the first several weeks of this ski season, we’re going to guess that resort sales tax revenue will finally eclipse the records set in the 2007-08 season. That’s been a long time coming, but a growing economy and — so far — abundant snow seems like a good combination to us.
Those are pretty easy — and really, about as far as we’re willing to go with our predictions. Here are a couple of things we’re far less sure of:
• The vote-counting is barely three weeks away, but we have no idea what’s going to happen in Avon’s special election over the Town Council’s attempted purchase of The Skier Building. Town officials staunchly defend the deal, of course. But enough residents have serious questions to force a special election. Turnout in these elections is generally pretty low, so just a few council-supporters or deal-critics either way could swing the outcome.
The Vail Daily editorial board has been skeptical about the deal since it was announced, but we don’t get to vote.
We shall see.
• The state of the wider world is always the subject of speculation, of course. We’ve recently read pieces — including one at Slate.com and by former Vail Trail and Vail Daily hand Tom Boyd — asserting that the world isn’t actually going to hell in a handbasket. In fact, the optimists say, the world is actually seeing less violent crime and wars than in recent decades. Actually, the truth is even starker: Now is the least violent time in human history. That’s good.
On the other hand, crankier writers, including Stanford professor Victor Davis Hanson, take a vastly darker view of the future. In the past month, Hanson has written that the world seems to be careening headlong into days that eerily resemble the years just prior to the world wars of the 20th century.
We pray those in Hanson’s camp are wrong. What’s more likely, though, is that those looking at a glass half-full or half-empty are probably looking at the wrong thing, missing by just about a half.