Vail Daily column: The road ahead for Vail
Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from the Vail Homeowners Association Newsletter. The association keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the Vail community. The electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at http://www.vailhomeowners.com.
The past year has presented a record number of issues for the Vail Homeowners Association. Although in many respects 2014 was a banner year for Vail, numerous issues arose which directly impact the quality of life in our community. That is at the heart of the association’s mission.
The Vail Homeowners Association is engaged in Vail’s cutting-edge issues. One involves the pollution of Vail’s crown jewel, Gore Creek. Others involve redevelopment of major portions of the town. Some involve chronic problems such as traffic congestion and parking. Others go to the very essence of who we are and what we want for our community.
The mission of the Vail Homeowners Association is to maintain the best of the Vail experience and to work with others in the community to achieve that goal.
Vail, through the efforts of Vail Resorts, the town of Vail and the business community, has made substantial economic progress in recovering from the national recession. The association has become concerned that the quality of life of the Vail experience now needs attention. Our concern is heightened by a perception that there could have been a falling off in some categories of winter and summer consumer standings. Are consumers and residents still receiving premium level experiences? What is the probability of the Vail experience becoming too commoditized; for quantity to overtake quality?
The community’s economic progress provides opportunity to address these broader quality of life issues. These issues are complex and wide-ranging. We recognize that all parties have positive agendas for moving forward.
The association believes that the completion of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships is a logical point to pause and reassess priorities. It will therefore seek over the course of 2015 to encourage an open community dialogue focused on the policies, strategies and tactics that can sustain Vail in its premier leadership position within international mountain resorts.
• Governance/inclusivity: What can be done to expand community involvement in decisions for Vail’s future; should efforts be taken to increase voter participation in town of Vail elections, i.e. mail balloting; does there need to be more transparency in Vail governance? How can a higher degree of collaboration be encouraged among factional interests? What are the roles, advantages and projects that should be address through public-private partnerships?
• Congestion: Are the multiplicity of street events, inadequate parking and over-development diluting the Vail experience? Is this creating public safety and other growth related issues that are being left unresolved?
• Environment: Is the Vail experience being degraded by water, noise and visual pollution? What are the plans for the Gore Creek cleanup?
• Community accessibility: What can be done to reduce traffic congestion on the community’s roadways and noise pollution from I-70, i.e. the Simba Run Underpass and sound barrier walls? How should air accessibility to the Eagle County airport be financed?
Our intention is not to just influence policy makers but also to engage the community. We believe that the strength and endurance of our response to the challenges ahead depends on the community’s involvement in the dialogue about its future. We encourage you to read our communications, talk to your neighbors, get to know your Town Council and become involved in the discussions. We welcome your membership, ideas and support in our quest to help shape the plans and policies that will ensure Vail continues to be the best it can be. Together we can build a better future.