Letter: What has become of the common bond that brought us to Vail?
September 22, 2017
Vail is dead, or long live Vail?
This has been a tough year for the locals of Vail. First, it was Kenny, then Lou and now Byron. If you knew any of these fine gentlemen (the rumble you just felt was Lou), then you were fortunate. If you knew them all, then you were lucky — or have just been around here for a while. Probably both.
Sitting in a five-star restaurant that used to be a no-star gas station, thoughts of the two big fights going on in Vail made me wonder: What has become of our little town?
Waves of nostalgia came crashing down while watching guests eat meals costing what very well might sustain for a month some of the workers who comprise the backbone of our little town.
Gone is the soft, quiet crunch of snow underfoot on an early-morning walk through town. Gone is the herd of elk paid by the Resort Association to pose for pictures in Ford Park. Gone is the easily accessible powder at 11 in the morning. Gone is the Great Race. Gone is the town many still cling to, whether it was 10 years or 20 years or 30 years ago.
Back in the day, crammed into Town Hall, the residents of Vail spoke out against what would have been the first traffic light in Vail. That night, unified, the locals of Vail made sure that there would be no urbanization of our little town.
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Raucous nights at Sir Runny Nose, tourons skiing down Bridge Street, the smack in the butt from rickety old Chair One — weren't those the days?
Those were the days when riding a two-seat, fixed chair might find a dirt-bag skier sitting next to a millionaire, back when a million dollars was a lot of money but it didn't matter. Regardless of how many commas were or were not in their bank accounts, both were here for the same reason and shared a common bond.
Now, doing what has been done since Day 1 — opening a home to folks seeking a weekend of what locals take for granted day in and day out, while making a little coin to help with the mortgage or Ski Club dues in the process — has brought out less than the best in some people on both sides.
Now, with an opportunity to provide practical housing for that backbone of the community — the lifties, the bussers, the hosts and hostesses — people are lining up, taking sides to fight about it.
What has become of that common bond that brought most of us here in the first place?
Not too long ago, the town that debated, "Are we a resort or are we a community?" with its love-hate relationship with the Empire, rallied and showed that common bond when eco-terrorists assaulted our playground. Those were the days.
Maybe with a little divine intervention from Kenny and Lou and Byron, we can find that bond again.
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