Letters to the Editor
Vail CO, Colorado
Timber Ridge for seasonals
I disagree with Tamara Miller’s recent editorial urging the Vail Town Council to design both seasonal worker and family housing into the Timber Ridge redevelopment.
Besides asking the obvious question of how many families would like to live next door to rooms full of young, fun-loving seasonal workers, the more important issue is how the Vail Valley is developing.
The fact is, Vail is not a separate, distinct community. When it was first founded and developed, it was.
But for years now, the “town” has included the downvalley centers of Avon, Edwards, and now, Eagle.
The retail mix of the valley has spread out across all of these communities, just as the housing stock has.
Trying to keep a full range of retailers within the town limits of Vail is impossible, for sound economic reasons (and the challenge of having a workforce to supply the demand for jobs by lodges, restaurants, and other retailers is something I believe the government should address).
The retailers who elect to operate inside town limits (at a higher cost than operating downvalley) mainly cater to the potential buyers who walk there: destination-resort tourists, and seasonal residents.
Though many of us might enjoy a richer retail mix, it just is not economical for most types of retailers ” and I do not think local government should subsidize retailers just to “improve” the mix for some of us.
The same type of economic model is driving residential housing within the town’s limits.
Affordable housing for families has long been moving downvalley. This has implications for schools, libraries, bus service, recreational programs, and, the housing “mix.”
I think we have to face the fact that we are one, large community now, and we have to deal with shifts that will be required in locations of facilities, services, retailers, and housing.
Timber Ridge should be for seasonal workers, period.
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