Letter: Vail Resorts’ epic hypocrisy
Writing this letter is not what I wanted to do this morning. I have been traveling for the last three weeks and have a lot of catching up to do. I have been to national parks, national monuments, recreational areas, wildlife refuges and many state parks — enjoying our beautiful open spaces, scenic places, wonderful wildlife, and the joys of nature. Now I’m back home and started catching up with the mail and the Vail Daily. I saw the article in the Friday, Nov. 15 paper about snowmaking and safety on the mountain — pretty routine topics — but as I read the article more carefully, something really struck a nerve. The numerous quotes and statements scattered throughout, by Rob Katz and Beth Howard, stating Vail Resorts’ commitment to the environment, to protecting their local and global communities. They state that the natural environment is our product, our business and we take it seriously and that Vail Resorts has a special obligation to protect it. They also stated that environmental impacts are part of every decision-making process on the mountain.
What set me off as I read their multiple statements and quotes (which I encourage you to read) is the epic hypocrisy with which they speak. These types of statements are so contradictory to the real-life actions that are taking place today in our community and to our environment by the Wall Street-driven company that one cannot believe anything the company puts forth. It is jaw-dropping, appalling and epic hypocrisy.
The current shining example of this is Booth Heights. How can a company tout its environmental commitment and stewardship and then push and shove this ecological and environmental disaster of a project through, regardless of clear evidence of serious negative impacts? Multiple agency studies, impact statements, and strong local disapproval and dissent demonstrate the clear distress to our community and the creatures that live here. This project will be a permanent black eye for all who permit this to proceed. Is this parcel of land, which Vail Resorts didn’t even know it owned until recently, now so essential to the overall health and well-being of the company that Vail Resorts cannot live without it? Come on, Vail Resorts, it’s not too late to do the right thing! Build your project on another one of the more appropriate and less environmentally sensitive parcels that are available in the valley, some that are already part of the Vail Resorts holdings.
Donate this precious parcel and wildlife refuge to the Eagle Valley Land Trust. Actions speak louder than words.