Letter: When voting for Vail Town Council, consider the world-class future of Vail
As a full-time resident of Vail who is younger than 40, raising a family and contributing to the community through a nonprofit learning organization, the upcoming election is very important to me.
It is possible I will see Vail turn 100, if my health allows. Vail 100 looks drastically different from Vail 50. One of my mentors, former Town Manager Terry Minger, serves on a board with me and has educated me on the discussions that occurred in Vail during the 1970s. The amount of planning and collaboration was not without some conflict, but it was a time when “tough” decisions were made, and the council laid the groundwork and vision that made Vail 50 world class: public transit, parking structures, Ford Park, Dobson Ice Arena, to name a few.
In every community, there is a shift of the public sector driving innovation versus the private sector. The private sector typically takes over due to the high level of capital needed to innovate in an area of high property values. Vail may be at this point, but it still needs a strong government to incubate and attract the right kind of private investment for the future needs of the community.
Vail will face many tough decisions in the next five years and could create some of the “options” for Vail 100 to realize a new level of world class. Innovation could include a car-less community, an off-the-grid energy solution, a world-renowned health provider, an international university or a year-round cultural and performance center. To elevate the experience, it would take a substantial investment by the town to cultivate innovative ideas and gain community support.
If innovation is a path, then a council well-versed in gathering community feedback, bringing diverse groups together and developing strategy will be key. A strong strategic plan could help guide the quality of life for decades to come. Without this, we will continue to see Vail make small, incremental shifts that are not keeping up with the world-class expectations of the town.
I didn’t relocate my family to Vail to experience a busy suburb of Denver. I was expecting world class, a place offering an experience “like nothing on earth.”
Let’s elect a council that pushes for world class and has the vision to take the risks needed to invest in Vail 100.