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Letters to the editor

Beth Slifer

All’s fair in love and politics. But sometimes winning makes everyone losers.Many who voted to defeat the conference center believed they were protecting Vail’s “way of life” and Vail’s economic stability. The tragedy is that without the conference center, Vail will continue to move away from being a community and a resort, and move towards a place increasingly exclusive of locals. — The town will become more of a second-home sanctuary and less of an option for local wage earners to live and / or to spend money in. — Second-home owners do not and will not spend much time in town – five months per year.– Jobs in the town will continue to be soft five months per year with employee earnings dropping during those slow times until many give up and take jobs downvalley (and move downvalley) for better year-round personal income. — Merchants will continue to have minimal business in the slow seasons, generating low sales taxes to support town infrastructure – five months per year.– The wonderful, new, upscale hotels will open and serve the very rich during peak seasons, and they will operate at low occupancy rates – five months per year.– Services and amenities will exist only if they can (i.e., charge enough) make a profit without significant revenue – five months per year.– The town will revolve more than ever around peak season tourists and second-home owners and be quieter than ever – five months per year. FIVE MONTHS PER YEAR will loom larger in our vocabulary. We will become even more obsessed with our over-capacity and underutilization of lodges, restaurants, retail and services – five months per year.I doubt the opponents of the conference center were voting for these unintended consequences.Five months per year, Vail will become more like Beaver Creek and less like Edwards. Quiet – FIVE MONTHS PER YEAR!Beth SliferVail Phone troubleWhat happened to cell phone service in the Valley?This past May it was time for my cell phone contract to expire, so I went to a local store to upgrade my phone and contract. I was told ATT and Cingular had merged and were switching over to an all-digital service in our area and I would need to upgrade to a digital phone. I asked the salesmen how this would compare to my old phone and he assured me reception, sounds, etc., would be clearer and more available. Well, after six months of dropped calls, missed calls and hang-ups, I decided to call Cingular.I was told there is a cellular tower in our area south of Avon and that our area was undergoing network integration. I was never made aware of this, and I doubt anyone else in the Vail Valley received anything from ATT or Cingular explaining the integration. On opening day on Vail Mountain, my cell phone worked two times out of more then 20 attempts. I was able to get reception in the gondola and the base of Avanti, and that’s all.I can’t wait until the clientele that skis Vail and Beaver Creek finds out their phones don’t work on mountain anymore. I have also talked to colleges, friends and family in the area, and they have experienced the same problems. Can you hear me now?Mike Hardaker Avon Way to go, bro!So I must say that American politics has never been something I have been interested in, that is until my big brother decided that he was going to become part of the Vail town council. In all of our years together I cannot recall a time when Mark was so enthusiastic about anything as he has been in trying to gain a seat on the council. I am a bit tainted with politicians. I have worked as a civil servant for nearly all of my career., and I have met good politicians and bad politicians. For the most part, both the good and the bad had an agenda that had more to do with what they want rather than what the people they represent want. So with this in mind I tried for the past few years of Mark’s campaigns to find out what was behind his passion to become a servant of the people, and I simply can not find anything but his pure desire to help the community he now calls home. This is truly enlightening for me, because every day in D.C. you see really shady things, taxpayers money being thrown out the windows, and people stabbing each other in the back for mere notoriety with their peers.To know, actually know, that there are still some people that are willing to do the hard work to help others out has opened my eyes to the possibility that we are not doomed. So thanks and congratulations to my big brother, or should I say Mr. Councilman? I am impressed and inspired. Good job!Bruce Hidaka-GordonWashington, D.C.Vail, Colorado


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