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Letters to the editor

Pat Mitchell

I have been present at most of the meetings related to the Crossroads discussion, and was present at the Town Council “working session” (recently) in order to speak during the public forum. I have become quite familiar with Mr Knoble’s project within my capacity as director of sales for two high-profile Vail fractional ownership projects, The Residences at Vail Mountain Lodge, and the Vail Plaza Club. In the event most readers are unaware of the nature of fractional sales, it involves the marketing of Vail by the week. The purchaser, literally, compresses their Vail experience into four-five weeks a year of Vail immersion. For the thousands of e-mail inquiries, calls, response cards, Web site hits I share with my sales people, the story echoes the familiar story. The client has been looking at tired, overpriced, small floor plans for years, and is of the belief that Vail has dug its heels into the old world, where some properties, rentals included, are headed for the buggy-whip museum. They also reflect that the town has paid lip service to the younger generation, a generation, according to ski industry figures, who represent the defibrillator for an ailing ski industry. Should anyone doubt the pent-up need for new real estate product, they should speak to attendees at the Arrabelle lottery where $1.5 billion in deposits were accepted for 52 condominiums. Make no mistake, the new product was welcomed, but the amenities drew palpable review during the sales process. Our salespeople have noticed that the SUGGESTION of an ice rink, bowling alleys, arcades and movie theaters nearby has been enough to encourage confidence in the $12 million in fractional sales registered by Vail Plaza Club in the first month! The pro-Knoble input from the public has been encouraging for us. To onlookers, the comments appear anecdotal at times, and one wonders to what level they will be weighed. Unlike Broker X from the Vail Village, we are in the opening stages of new development where the phone/mail/walk-in traffic is at its highest. Not ONE client has lamented the changing face of Vail, nor the lack of window shutters missing the red/white stripes. Our client has changed from the destination skier in the 1980s. They are more global now, Internet-savvy, and have plenty of options for second-home investing. Should they feel that Vail has decided to adopt what I see from these meetings as the NIMBY syndrome, we will lose them, and their retail and tax dollars. I don’t believe anyone wants to see that happen. In my opinion, we cannot afford to NOT have this project. Pat MitchellWorker’s woesBravo to Mr. Boris and his very accurate letter concerning Vail parking. In addition to his stated woes, I must add to the list of frustrations, parking for the employee trying to go to work. There are many of us that are needed to operate Vail Village and the mountain. The lack of “local parking” by 10 a.m. starts a “Turn it Up Vail” day very badly. Weighing the odds carefully, all through Christmas week I drove and made sure to be on top no later than 8:30 a.m. to ensure a spot, promising myself that I would take the bus starting Jan. 2. Needless to say, the powder days that kicked off the new year created a very frustrating bus ride (that is if you could get on). I forced myself on an overcrowded bus every day, no matter if it was the 7:30, 7:45, 8 or 8:15 a.m.The East Vail bus drivers were always more than gracious and allowed me on, understanding that I was trying to get to my job on time. I am not looking forward to the same scenarios that will occur Presidents Day weekend and the month of March. However the parking situation is so impossible that I must opt for a “standing room only” bus ride. I am fortunate that my ride is a short one. Others are not. Hopefully, next year will be better. There is not a “smile” class that can help any employee deal with the circumstances involved in just trying to go to work. Lisa AngeloVailVail, Colorado


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