Letter: Vail needs affordable housing
Full disclosure, I worked for Vail Resorts for 17 years and stepped down as president of the mountain division in 2016 and fully retired as senior adviser in 2019. I currently have no formal affiliation with Vail Resorts but am proud to be friends with many of their employees in both Broomfield and the mountain resort communities. I have a lot of respect for Vail Resorts, and I also have an appreciation of the challenges company leaders face balancing the needs of their various stakeholders — the shareholders, the staff and the mountain communities they have the privilege of doing business in.
I am also a second homeowner in Vail Village. It was a no-brainer for my wife and I to choose Vail over any other mountain resort community — it really is like nowhere on earth.
I have been following, with great interest, the ongoing debate and see-sawing regarding the East Vail employee housing proposal. The quality of the Vail experience is not only enhanced by having engaged employees, it is dependent on it. Employees become more engaged when they can actually live, enjoy and be a part of the communities they work in. Currently Vail, and just about every other mountain resort community, has a crisis of just getting employees — period.
Vail Resorts’ plan to build employee housing is a rare opportunity to start solving this crisis. The project has already been approved and the developer is ready to go. The location allows Vail to recruit and retain quality employees who can live in and enjoy the wonders of the Vail Valley.
When I Iook at a map of the project area, I see the proposed affordable housing project bordering the East Vail road and on the very outermost edge of the sheep habitat. I also see many (many!) homes that are built and currently being built deeper into the bighorn sheep winter range and the bighorn sheep concentration area.
Support Local Journalism
It begs an answer to the questions Vail COO Beth Howard raised at a recent Vail Town Council meeting: Why do the sheep become an issue when the project is affordable housing? Why do homes get built and not affordable housing?
Steamboat Springs and Vail