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Letters to the Editor

Compiled by Vail Daily staff
Vail CO, Colorado

Chair 10 thoughts

“Up on the mountain you have old chairlifts, which are uncomfortable and dangerous and down in the village you have heated roads. What kind of ski resort is that?”

My German friend asked this good question when we went up together on the famous antique chair 10. The almost endless ride gave me time to teach him some Vail history.

George Gilett was the last CEO who replaced old lifts on this mountain and that was more then 15 years ago. After Gilett was Adam Aron, the “no skier” from New York. The first thing he did was put up computers all over the mountain, so that you could watch the New York Stock Market at Mid-Vail.

Thanks to Bill Jensen and his groomers, Vail Mountain offered all season long really world-class conditions. I wonder what might be the real estate values without this great skiing? As long as the slopes are white, we don’t see that those layers of new snow are becoming thinner and thinner and we are not so far away anymore from the dirt underneath. The inches they announce now are good for advertisement, but not for powder skiing.

When I came to Vail in ’64, we all had long narrow skis and a big lot of powder. Those old skis made powder skiing really difficult. We had the wrong skis (narrow skis) for the powder in the early days. Now we have the wrong skis (fat powder skis) for the hard packed. Who cares? The ski industry makes money and we have fun.

The information that we have global warming has finally found its way into Happy Valley. There’s less snowfall and if you get out of the office you may find some rain much earlier then usual. But in opposite to 40 years ago, this seems not to be important any longer because Vail is not a skiers’ community anymore. Snow has become kind of a decoration for Vail’s real estate market.

May I ask the question, how many ski days have most of the Vail business people and Vail administration “logged in” this season?

And how many miles did they walk their coffee pots from meeting to meeting?

How can you ever cook a good soup, if you don’t eat soup and how can you improve a ski town when you don’t ski?

Today I got a form from the town. One of the questions was: “Over the past two years has the sense of community within the town improved?”

I might be wrong, but Vail is clearly turning into a resort. What do second and third homes, timeshare units, empty condos and all of this development have to do with a community? I understand that a resort has employees and therefore employee housing is the need.

Funny enough, at first all the employees have been forced to move downvalley because the couldn’t afford to live in Vail.

Now, we want to get them back.

When I walk up and down Vail, I wonder how many buildings stand along the highway and they still become more. Compared to all that living space, the ski mountain is empty. Where are the homeowners? They simply seem not to be here.

Those who want to be here don’t have the money to stay and those who have the money to stay don’t want to be here.

How funny. To create business, that means “warm beds” seems to be necessary, but to fill up the valley with empty rooms is wasted land.

Aren’t we talking about environment? When 70 percent of Vail’s homes are empty ” who cares?

Otto Wiest

Road wars

This is in response to Douglas McKiernan’s outrageous, self-centered letter on April 30.

The fact that you openly admit to tailgating other drivers at high speed “just so they see me” is the most ludicrous, egoist logic and it endangers everyone’s safety on I-70. You are the root of the problem, not people going too slow. People are hitting their brakes because you are tailgating them.

A better way to handle this would be to not tailgate, but patiently wait for these “jerk(s)” to change lanes.

If you would like an outlet for your frustration so that others don’t want to break the law along with you, you might use your left turn signal from a safe three-second following distance to alert them of your desire to overtake them.

A little arithmetic: At an average speed of 80 mph on your 20-mile trip from Avon to Eagle, you save 3 minutes and 30 seconds over the driver that is going 65 mph (a “jerk” in the fast lane).

Your braking distance jumps from 345 feet at 65 mph to 481 feet at 80 mph.

Also, the force the human body receives in a crash increases exponentially with speed.

Yes, it is your right to speed, but I hope that you factor in the risk of death to your daily savings of 3-and-a-half minutes.

Thanks and I hope I never see you behind me.

Patrick Tvarkunas

Eagle-Vail


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