Credit where it’s due | VailDaily.com

Credit where it’s due

We’ve taken issue with some of the Avon town government’s actions during the past couple of years. Now it’s time to give credit where it’s due.

We’ll acknowledge that much of our criticism has been from something of an “inside baseball” point of view. We’ve written about important stuff, to be sure — government transparency, use, or the misuse, of taxpayer money and other issues. Ultimately, though, we’ve been writing for a relatively small audience. The Vail Daily reaches about 40,000 readers a day, more or less. Avon has about 2,500 registered voters, and fewer than 650 voted in a Jan. 20 special election sparked by opposition to the town’s desire to overspend to buy the Skier Building for its new town hall. In short, we’ve put a lot of attention into topics of perhaps passing interest to the vast majority of our audience.

The suspicion here is that far more readers care about how Avon looks for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships and the months and years beyond. By those measures, Avon is a roaring success.

The town has poured time, effort and money into projects ranging from the new stage and pavilion at Nottingham Park — which, we’ll say again, cost more than double its original estimate — to the roundabouts at Avon Road, the doorstep to Beaver Creek. The town’s new pedestrian mall, roughly between The Westin and the park, is a dandy path between those two popular spots. It’s anyone’s guess whether it will at some point become the town center officials have long tried to cultivate in the area. But aesthetics are no longer a roadblock to progress.

Even Post Boulevard, which links Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 6 past Walmart, is at least presentable these days and no longer looks like the main street in a zombie movie.

On the private sector side, the Hoffmann family, which now owns much of the town’s original commercial area east of Avon Road, has invested a lot of time and money into sprucing up another part of town that has long needed attention. That’s the side of town with genuine vitality, and it’s growing the right way for the most part, give or take some litigation over shutters and at least one popular restaurant tenant that doesn’t seem necessary.

It’s all good news, folks, and everyone hopes it continues.

Still, the town does not have a bottomless wallet even if town officials have been feeling a bit overly flush. It’s great seeing the town be assertive about moving Avon forward as the economy grows. As the 2-1 margin of the election against the Skier Building purchase made clear, just don’t get reckless on that grand quest for progress.