Letter: Vail Resorts’ letter has one glaring omission
I would like to thank the Vail Daily for publishing Vail Resorts’ letter to the Town Council as I have been perplexed about the continuing stand-off with our Vail Town Council. This letter is utter pabulum.
Vail Resorts now claims to be extremely interested in affordable housing — read that as company officials have sold so many passes that they now need a ton of housing and will continue to sell even more passes — hence the need in the future for more housing. In particular, Vail Resorts needs more housing in Vail itself — not the Vail Valley because we the residents pay for free buses for their employees. I would ask why Vail Resorts has not bought land elsewhere — in Minturn or Avon, for example — and then they could bus their own employees to Vail. Vail Resorts didn’t even know that it owned the land it wanted to develop in East Vail until a few years ago and has paid almost no taxes on the land.
Vail Resorts Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Rock made the outrageous claim in the letter that our Town Council “requested” to permanently reduce affordable housing. Give me a break with reality — our town has been extremely vigilant at providing Vail Resorts in particular with alternatives and better housing options that don’t involve being six miles away from a pharmacy.
Give me another break with reality — Rock didn’t know in every location that has a town council that leadership and membership changes? Leadership and membership change because of corporations such as Vail Resorts and its policies.
Whilst I do not like to criticize people who dedicate their time to public service, I will on this occasion. The previous mayor, Dave Chapin, ran a terrible meeting when he oversaw appeals that brought new information as to why the project should be overturned. A lot of information was presented and yet he saw fit to sum up the hours of effort and expense by stating, “I have heard nothing new.” That is why we are where we are — he could have seen fit to allow the voters six weeks or so later to make a decision instead of him.
Rock kept referring to “our community.” No, Mr Rock, Vail Resorts is not part of what I designate as a community with the way it is operated under your leadership. I think it was under the leadership of Bill Jensen who understood the need to work within the community in a way that Rock and other Vail Resorts officials are clearly not willing or perhaps not capable of doing.
Almost the worst part of this letter is what is not in it. Rock fails to mention the whole reason that this situation of condemnation of the land has arisen — the preservation of a centuries-old herd of bighorn sheep that have their native habitat exactly where Vail Resorts wants to build. This herd has no other alternative habitat.
That is what this is about. Preservation of wildlife — pure and simple. Put your affordable housing where you can afford to put it, Vail Resorts. I’m sure Park City is saying the same about parking.