Vail Daily letter: River park: best way forward |

Vail Daily letter: River park: best way forward

Place Value, a recent study from Community Builders, outlines economic development trends that relate directly to the Eagle River Park.

Place Value finds that, increasingly, growing a strong local economy relies on offering an outstanding quality of life. Technology and knowledge-based industries have made business more mobile than ever, allowing people and firms to locate most anywhere. Those communities that offer a great quality of life — including safety, access to high quality recreation and entertainment, authentic and active downtowns, housing and transportation choices — will have the edge when it comes to attracting the jobs and talent of today’s economy. That’s the point of the Eagle River Park.

Similarly, a survey done for the study found that access to outdoor recreation was one of the highest priorities people had in deciding on a community to live in or relocate to.

The report is packed with data that supports what we’re trying to do in Eagle.

A related study, looking at housing market trends, has relevant findings as well. It found that people place a premium on living in close or walkable proximity to parks, trails and recreation. In fact, a large majority (62 percent) said they would prefer easy access to those amenities over having a larger home.

Both of those studies, as well as another called About Town, talk about the importance of creating a vibrant downtown if you want to build a strong local economy. Building the Eagle River Park will be a tremendous boost to downtown Eagle. It will spur new investment, revitalization and provide a significant boost to existing businesses, which will help their bottom line as well as local tax base.

The Eagle River Park can be a central cog in a new, better economic strategy for the town of Eagle; one that boosts local prosperity and quality of life, while staying true to our roots and community character. It’s the best way forward for our community.

Ellen Bodenhemier


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