Letter: This was an assault on our community
It was a strange morning in Vail on Friday. Waking to the promise of the upcoming winter season with snow on the Gore. And then taking a gut punch from the appalling picture in the Vail Daily of graffiti in the village.
Don’t get me wrong. In the grand scheme of things going on in the world, this is child’s play. But it is very personal to a lot of people.
Most readers probably leapt to the same conclusion of who might have perpetrated this awful act. We certainly all hope this was not the work of any of our homegrown juvenile delinquents.
For years, I have not used the word “tourists,” preferring the word “guests.” This is a mindset and not just a matter of semantics.
There was a time when we worried about a smoking ban that would have had major benefits for locals toiling in our bars and restaurants but might have upset our European guests.
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For years, we gave out warnings instead of tickets to cars parked on the frontage road, most of which belonged to guests from outside of Eagle County.
Most recently we had small business owners not wanting to offend any guests by “telling them what to do” with regard to masks, even though, now in hindsight, many think we could have done things differently.
Granted, the vast majority of guests who come here love this place as much as the locals do. They contribute to all things Vail, and this should never be overlooked. If you have a problem with “damn tourists,” you are in the wrong business, and town, and I hope you will consider relocating to Mali.
But maybe a little “Vail first” would not be such a bad thing at this point in time.
Make no mistake. Our little bubble is slowing, but definitely, falling to Earth. While this was on one particular building in town, this was an assault on our community. Our home.
It would take a lot for us to offend any of our guests to the point that they will not come back. And to the tourists who take offense to anything we do to protect our town and its citizens and workers, well, tell them how wonderful it is in Timbuktu.