Letter: Condemn the East Vail parcel and condemn Vail Resorts | VailDaily.com

Letter: Condemn the East Vail parcel and condemn Vail Resorts

The parcel in East Vail where Vail Resorts plans to develop workforce housing needs to be condemned — legally. Vail Resorts and its female leaders Beth Howard and Kirsten Lynch should also be condemned — literally — for being absolutely tone deaf to the community with their empty words and vacuous promises to protect the environment.

On its website, Vail Resorts states: “Everything we do needs to be aligned with our five stakeholders: Our guests, our employees, our communities, our shareholders, our natural environment.”

So let’s look at those in turn. Guest experience: Selling 76% more Epic Passes this season in comparison to the 2019-2020 season without considering the need for parking or crowding or lack of on-mountain dining or having enough people to clean the bathrooms — certainly like no place on Earth. Oh, and I forgot the bit about charging $291 for a 3-year-old to attend a group lesson. Employees: Underpaid (unless you are top management and then you do very nicely indeed), under motivated and in March 2020 shoved out into the cold when they closed the mountain.

Communities: Well they certainly don’t care for this one, or Park City, Utah, it would appear. The town of Vail has gone to great lengths to find alternatives for this project with success — but Vail Resorts walked away. Vail Resorts owns an eminently suitable plot of land on which to build housing for itsemployees within walking distance of both the Lionshead gondola and the Cascade lift but because the company can presumably get more money for it as expensive housing or a hotel, Vail Resorts leaders refuse to even discuss this option.

Our natural environment: Most of this community cares about the need to protect the environment at large and specifically this herd of sheep.

We need affordable housing —everyone agrees — but not at all costs. Independent wildlife experts all agreed that to build on this parcel would likely lead to the inevitable extinction of the herd. Vail Resorts leaders know that full well — so how does that align with their intent to build on this site? It shows that what they say and what they do are completely different things. They don’t give a fig about the environment — zero commitment. Commitment to Zero.

Last but not least, shareholders. Well it would seem that everything is geared to that. How sad — how short-sighted and how stupid.

Vail Resorts management might be that. They might not see the idiocy of ruining the skiing experience at Vail and devaluing the brand — they might not understand that they should have tiered levels of the supposed Epic Pass — but the leaders of the town have an obligation to maintain the standards and traditions of Vail. I urge the Town Council to do the right thing and condemn this land. It is the right thing to do.

Kirsty Hintz


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