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Letters to the editor

Andy Daly

I am writing to the Vail community to urge a YES vote on the conference center Nov. 8. Like many informed Vail voters, I paused before I jumped on the vote YES bandwagon. This is a big decision for Vail and not one that should be entered into lightly. Now that I’ve studied both sides of the issue thoroughly, I am confident the town’s research is sound and it’s time to move forward with this important project.I am supporting the Vail conference center because it will be an important new driver of the economic engine of our community. There is no silver bullet which will ensure the economic success of Vail, although some have suggested that the increase in destination and international guest experienced this past ski season might be that silver bullet. Although I’m encouraged by these new numbers, one thing is certain: We have to add more activity in the off-season by bringing visitors that aren’t coming here to ski. Certainly, snow is our greatest natural resource, but we’ve got to diversify beyond the skier economy. Ironically, our continued success as the nation’s premiere mountain resort destination depends on how we create business in the off-season sustaining top quality retail, lodging and restaurants.Admittedly, it’s also from a source of pride and confidence in Vail that I support the conference center. I believe in our town’s ability to continue to attract new visitors. We’ve got a great product and great people to sell it. Jim Steinbach, vice president of conference cales at the Vail Valley Chamber and Tourism Bureau, said it best in his letter to the editor a few weeks ago: “Businesses, associations and other groups who inquire about hosting their conference in Vail are not just shopping for a competitive bid. Our outdoor amenities, restaurants and breathtaking views are helping drive conference business here. Vail is a unique destination – a recognized product that sets us apart from other cities and towns.” And Jim is just one of dozens of people who make their living bringing new visitors, groups in particular, to Vail. As for the timing of a conference center, what better time to build a conference than now when so much is being done to make our resort community even more competitive? Just look around at the unprecedented rate of redevelopment in Vail – Vail Plaza, the Four Seasons, Sonnenalp, Founders Park and Arrabelle in Lionshead. Much of the same market research that informed the financiers of these big projects also informed the town with regard to building a conference center – an equally important project that will serve to attract destination and visitors to our valley for years to come.Our elected officials have done a responsible job of reviewing and solidifying construction and operating costs. Financial mechanisms have been put in place to build and operate the conference Ccenter at no incremental cost to us, the citizens of Vail. There’s an undercurrent among the naysayers who claim the project is too risky, but I have a difficult time understanding their concern. I suppose it all comes down to trust – do you trust the people we have elected and the professionals they hire to do what’s right for Vail? I do, and I believe most voters in Vail agree. They have earned the benefit of the doubt and we owe them our trust.Wherever you want to point the finger of blame for the missteps of the past, we’ve come too far not to take the last step to make the conference center a reality. It’s disappointing that some leaders of our community have aligned themselves on the conference center issue not based on the current facts, but on perceptions and petty politics that emerged the last time we voted on this issue. I would hope by the time the election rolls around that most of us, in the privacy of the voting booth, will do what we believe in our hearts is right for Vail. I urge you to join me in supporting the conference center, an important step forward toward a stronger year-round economy in Vail. Andy DalyVailCleveland seeks re-electionI am about the only candidate who has not submitted a letter to the editor regarding my reelection bid. My intention was to write a short, sweet letter but an intervening event calls for a public correction. First the correction. On both Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, a group of Vail residents placed an advertisement in the Vail Daily supporting my reelection to the Vail Town Council. Unfortunately, there is an error in the advertisement. I did not serve on the Planning and Environmental Commission for two years, as is stated in the brief biography. In fact, I served on the PEC from April 9, 2001, until I took my current seat on the Vail Town Council on Nov. 9, 2001. I regret that I did not catch this error until it was in the paper and after a third party pointed it out to me. I have since taken steps with both the Vail Daily and the citizens placing the ad to correct the advertisement. I accept full responsibility for not catching the error. There was no intent on anybody’s part to mislead the electorate, and I sincerely apologize for the blunder. I am proud of my level of participation in civic affairs and have no need to inflate my accomplishments. People have told me that this was a small error, no big deal. It is a big deal to me. I pride myself on my honesty and integrity, and feel this reflects badly on me. I owe every one of you an explanation and an apology. Enough said. Over the past four years I believe that I have served the people of this community to the very best of my ability. I represent the town of Vail on numerous boards and committees. I am proud to be counted as part of the town council that has made huge strides in leading Vail into the future. The current council has made an unprecedented commitment to the sensitive redevelopment of Vail. This council also constructed public facilities (Donovan Park and Pavilion, the gymnastics center, the whitewater park, Pirate Ship Park), preserved 90 acres of new dedicated open space, designed and initiated the Vail Village and East Meadow Drive streetscape projects, and established leash-free parks in East and West Vail. This is only a small part of what has been accomplished in the last four years.I look forward to the challenges ahead of us. We have only just begun Vail’s renaissance. I still have the drive, the commitment, and the energy to be a positive force in Vail government. I have thoroughly enjoyed my council service over the past four years and look forward to four more. I would consider it an honor to continue to serve. You always have and always will get 110 percent of my energy directed toward the job I was elected to do.Thank you for your kind support in the past. I hope I have earned your trust for the future. When you vote on Nov. 8, please consider re-electing Dick Cleveland to the Vail Town Council.Dick ClevelandFor MoffetI’m writing this letter in support of Greg Moffet for the upcoming Vail Town Council election. I serve on the Vail Local Housing Authority and have been able to observe Greg in action for the past four years. Oftentimes it is easy to be sold on the promises of a candidate without necessarily knowing how the person will perform once they are elected. With Greg’s track record there is no question as to his ability to produce results from promises. Middle Creek Village stands as testament to Greg’s significant role in ensuring that affordable housing is built in Vail. During the planning and approval of Middle Creek, I observed Greg’s ability to cut to the meat of issues and find common ground with the presenters to move the process along. It is also obvious that he does his homework and comes prepared for meetings with practical, common sense questions. In doing so, Greg helps both meetings and projects to move efficiently. The result was Middle Creek, a 142- unit, 256- bed housing development that serves as a quality, affordable place to live for some of the people who make this community tick. In a time when Vail has so many developments on deck it would be foolish to chance the future on those who don’t have a proven track record. Vail needs people on council that can roll up there sleeves and get the job done. I hope that voters will recognize how effective Greg is and re-elect this proven council member.Mark RistowVail, Colorado


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