Vail Daily Hits and Misses
July 16, 2015
Got a quick Hit or Miss about issues, decisions or goings-on in the valley? Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included.
MISS: To the notion tourism has peaked in Vail or anywhere else in the valley. Utter nonsense.
HIT: To the recovering real estate market, in which the problems of today signal growing strength. Prices are rising, and steals — anything less than $500,000 — are becoming ever more rare.
MISS: Of course, to the inevitable stress on so many of us who find the cost of housing more than a little rich. Look for that old ball and chain — lack of "affordable" housing — to become a bigger and bigger deal(breaker) again. We never really solved that problem during the recession and aftermath, and so it's coming back as challenging as ever.
MISS: To the closely-tied challenge of hiring truly professional employees in this community, a complaint heard from school officials to those running tech startups and from employers looking to fill managerial slots with real initiative and drive. Lower pay meets higher housing costs and less city amenities — an ugly combination.
HIT: To the town of Avon working through what had to be an uncomfortable inquiry into relations between Town Manager Virginia Egger and the town's staff. The Town Council is scheduled to discuss the results next week in closed session, owing to the nature of the discussion. While vague — though, again, legally necessary — the conclusions about weaknesses in relations and rethinking some human resources practices in particular did not appear to be whitewash as frankly seen before in Avon. The investigation did not back up some of the more, er, dramatic accusations leveled largely through anonymous email, which also strikes us as about right. The win in a surely-embarrassing, semi-public process comes from what Egger, council members and staff will apply from what they have learned. We'll also note here a largely positive employee survey about working in Avon under Egger. There's something to build on there.
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HIT: To one of those silly lists sent out by companies mostly seeking exposure for themselves, this one naming Vail, Avon and Gypsum among the top 25 places in Colorado to start a business.
HIT: To Frost Creek golf memberships spiking upward after all those years of a flat-lined resort with nothing building.
HIT: To Bravo! Vail adding Joshua Bell's band, er, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra, to next years music festival. We should express something more sophisticated than "cool!" But it is that if you've heard Bell perform. And bravo!
HIT: To news the GoPro Mountain Games went particularly well this year. Attendance figures and calculations of economic impact can be taken with grains of salt, of course, but you could see the attendance in person well sprinkled with those coveted millennials as well as X's and boomers having a great time.
MISS: To fraudsters and drug traffickers of late who found themselves back in court for new crimes or allegations thereof so soon after being sentenced too lightly for previous crimes. Sure doesn't appear any messages got across as intended — other than a little probation pretty much is a "business cost" of the sordid practice.
HIT: To the Shaw Regional Center being recognized for having better survival rates for breast and prostate cancers than the national average.
HIT: To construction activity beginning to perk up throughout the valley. Eagle County permit numbers and dollar volume will blow away last year's numbers at their pace through the first half of the year. Busier construction workers and higher costs to retain their services provide another measure for this.
HIT: To the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail's awards in general and in particular to the Waterville Valley cartel — John Garnsey and Jimmy Roberts — who swept into the valley around the same time and retired nearly in unison, leaving big footprints in the skiing world during their time here. They're the real deal, and it was appropriate for the Zella Gorsuch Award to be shared for the first time in its history. Many of the winners over the years also have been inducted in Colorado's Ski Hall of Fame, including Garnsey. Roberts, who might genuinely loathes spotlights, belongs there, too.
HIT: To the controversial practice of fracking, which increases drilling production, heading toward the statewide ballot in 2016 to settle a crucial question over whether local governments should have a measure of control over regulations guiding the practice. Gov. Hickenlooper rather brilliantly dodged the question during his re-election year with, what else, a committee to take up the issue. The resulting task force turned out favoring the oil and gas industry (surprise, surprise), with the state retaining control without addressing local concerns nearly well enough.
HIT: To Vail Valley Cares distributing $306,000 to other deserving community service groups to help them do their fine work.
HIT: To the town of Vail opening the conversation about what might be their next big thing to set the community on a higher plane. Few governments even think like that. Just don't be so quick to dismiss ideas from the past that have not yet evolved into winning plans so far. The fact they haven't worked yet doesn't mean they can't work ever. Only to narrow minds can that "logic" be true, and this exercise isn't the stuff of narrow minds.