Letter: Here’s one way to take on Vail Resorts | VailDaily.com

Letter: Here’s one way to take on Vail Resorts

Having read Nate Peterson’s column in the Vail Daily as well as Susan Knopf’s column in the Summit Daily last week, I am compelled to write this letter. 

Vail resorts has established itself as the very finest example of greed, misused power and an uncanny ability to steamroll over elected officials, government agencies and the general wishes of the public. This is nothing new.  The late outdoors and ski columnist for the Denver Post, Charlie Meyers, was a very courageous editorialist. He dared to take on Vail Resorts decades ago in his articles as Vail continued to pave, build, develop, and ultimately wipe out wildlife numbers at an incredible rate. 

I recall one column Meyers wrote that included his thought, ”If you believe as I do that the mountains are sacred …”  It went on to call out Vail development policies in public. The spins and outright lies regarding Vail Resorts’ environmental stewardship are nothing but propaganda and should be considered insulting to our collective intelligence. And now comes the likely extermination of the last of the wild sheep in the Vail Valley at the hands of this company.

After a track record of wildlife destruction going back many decades, this is pure greed on a higher level. Whether for workforce housing and/or for-profit development, why not do the right thing for once, Vail, and build it elsewhere such that the last 5% of the valley’s bighorn herd is not exterminated? Bighorn sheep are, of course, native to Colorado and to be treasured by those of us who live here. They can withstand many forces of nature, but range destruction at the hands of developers is truly their death knell.

In closing, I have always been a believer that one votes with one’s wallet.  That said, I am in an interesting and in this case wonderful position. On my desk as I write this is a list of cities and convention centers as sites for future events and very large conventions. These conventions that I am involved in planning can be attended by 500 to 1,000 people, and the economic impact is measurable. One venue candidate on my list is the Keystone Conference Center which, of course, is managed by Vail Resorts. I have stricken Keystone from my list, and it has a snowball’s chance in hell of being considered in the future. Or, perhaps more appropriately here, a wild sheep’s chance of surviving in the Vail Valley. The million bucks or so in revenue per event that Vail Resorts will never see is probably a drop in the bucket for them, but it’s a start.

Charlie Banta


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