Letter: Condemnation only benefits lawyers, not locals | VailDaily.com

Letter: Condemnation only benefits lawyers, not locals

So many people want to believe that Tuesday night was a big victory for the town of Vail and the East Vail bighorn sheep. I believe the town of Vail will come out on the losing end and Vail resorts will prevail financially. The next step of “good faith negotiations” will provide Vail Resorts with a huge monetary windfall. I am sure that any condemnation settlement will include reimbursement for the millions in development costs incurred throughout the initial approvals of PEC, DRB and Town Council. Those costs on top of the market land value for property that could not be sold to anyone else.

The total price could easily reach $20 million based on a similar situation in Telluride. At that price, the cost of the current bighorn herd in this East Vail area will be around $253,164 per bighorn. This is a big price considering the average cost of a deed restricting units in Vail is $80,000. We could deed restrict 250 units for the potential amount being spent to protect the herd.

Workforce housing built by Vail Resorts is now 2-3 years away, continuing to leave employees with very few options.

I agree with the comments that Vail Resorts officials have not done enough to house their workforce, but I believe that current path will not help create a cooperative relationship with the town of Vail and Vail Resorts. We have so many issues to deal with — frontage road parking, and traffic and infrastructure demands created by 2 million Epic Pass holders, to mention a few.

Vail Resorts does not have a great environmental record dating back to developing the lynx habitat in Blue Sky Basin, elk calving on Golden Peak, and most recently the contamination and fish kill of Mill and Gore creeks last fall.

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We need to establish a better working relationship with Vail Resorts to move forward and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. The condemnation will not help this happen, it will be just a bunch of lawyers racking up fees and the Vail taxpayers writing a big check.

Reid Phillips


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