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Letters to the Editor

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No means just thatDeciphering what is fact in the Crossroads debate is becoming harder and harder. This weekend I was approached by a “Friend of Vail Village” who was determined to convince me to vote no.I consider myself informed, as I have been following the Crossroads issue closely by attending town meetings and reading the paper daily. Having already voted, I admit I was having a little fun with her by playing ignorant and debating the issue. When I said, “I just really like bowling, so I think I’m voting yes.” She explained to me a no vote would not be an end to the project and its benefits. She went on to tell me I would still get my bowling, movies, and skating, but in a building two stories smaller. This struck me as odd, as I didn’t recall the ballot reading anything like that. So I called the town of Vail offices to find out, in their language, what each vote means.Simply, yes is in favor of the project as proposed. No equals no project. Therefore a no vote means no bowling, no public plaza, no ice skating. No does NOT equal a vote in favor of a smaller project. Review the facts for yourself, make an educated decision and vote YES.William B. DavisA false premiseAs a Vail business owner and supporter of Crossroads I want to clarify an important point. The opponents say: “Revitalize Crossroads? Yes! We can have skating, movies and bowling for families without those top two stories of exclusive condos.” This is FALSE. A NO vote is not a negotiation on height – it kills the project. The facts are: Both the Vail Chamber & Business Association and the Vail Valley Chamber & Tourism Bureau have endorsed the redevelopment plans for Crossroads and are encouraging a YES vote to uphold the Vail Town Council’s approval of a new Crossroads. There is no guarantee that if voters repeal the ordinance approving the new Crossroads that the developer will come back with a new plan removing two stories. WHY? He would have to start the process all over. It will take an additional TWO to THREE YEARS for the developer to draw up new plans, submit the plans to town staff and the PEC, and negotiate all over again those public benefits – including the free ice skating, the movie theater, the public plaza, the additional parking, the employee housing and the bowling – with the Vail Town Council.And after all that, what if his project is stopped by another referendum costing taxpayers another $30,000 or more? I’m very satisfied that the town of Vail developer-approval process worked, and I want the Crossroads project as it was approved to go forward now. Vail merchants have weathered a massive construction zone for four years now. We’ve got three years to go.We’re proud of Vail’s revitalization and we want to show it off sooner rather than later. Don’t delay! Vote YES on July 11 for better business, better quality of life!Paul FerzaccaVail politicsWhat are you trying to accomplish, opponents of Crossroads? Everyone has had enough of people calling them to persuade their vote for the Crossroads project, but I guess that’s Vail politics. When I told the “Friends of Vail Village” caller that I already voted, and voted YES, you berate me for “turning Vail into a city.” “Goodbye” would have been more appropriate response from you. I also think it’s kind of funny that you are now cold calling me. I thought I was included in the “uneducated seasonal youth here for the free kegger and rock concert.” What happened to your grass-roots community against development? Not as strong as you thought it was? You must be scared if you are now including us in your community.Well I guess if you really wanted to be neighborly, you could start with phone manners.Trefor DaviesFootball field, plusThis is in response to the Wisdom on the Web comment which said the Crossroads building can’t possibly be the length of an entire football field, and that people like William and Norma Brown were wrong in saying that.Actually, according to information provided by Vail Town Planning staff and the developer’s own drawings, the Crossroads building itself will measure roughly 390 feet from east to west along the frontage road, or roughly the length of 1.3 regularized football fields. That’s just one of the reasons why we think the proposed building is too big, and needs to be down-sized a little.Andy WiessnerSay what?I think it’s great that the Crossroads issue has flushed out so many opinions and so many voters. I have been a vocal supporter of the new Crossroads since its reworking. I have taken the time to visit the office and see the models and ask the developer and his staff every question that’s crossed my mind and I am satisfied that I am casting my vote YES in full confidence. I am concerned that the playing field is not level, however. I was shocked to learn from more than one of my friends that the “Friends of Vail Village” have been telling people that the vote is to “make him take one story off the plans.” Not true. The developer has worked extensively with the town, and they are satisfied with his proposal. That’s enough for me. That’s why I voted in the Town Council election – for representation.I have a small child and I am thrilled to not have to drive downvalley for all the amenities that Solaris will afford. I love bowling and I look forward to putting together a locals’ bowling league (with shirts!) and I know that the developer is committed to making the space full-use. He is planning on having a coffee bar and wi-fi spot in the bowling alley during the morning hours. I know this because I have spent time talking to the developer and getting my questions answered. He is also planning a “no-guns” arcade, which I think is great, responsible thinking. I have had it with people, whoever they are, old, new or Coast Guard saying that “if Vail depends on an arcade for our livelihood, we are in rough shape.” That is not the point. When I moved here 14 years ago, I recall an arcade here, right in Crossroads. Have we managed without it? Absolutely. But would it provide a safe, family activity after a day of skiing, biking, hiking or other outdoor play? Definitely. Vail Mountain has also changed since I moved here. The ski industry has changed. My first job here, as a summer lift operator, I can remember George Gillett and his mountain managers checking in on the mountain employees personally on a regular basis. To say that’s changed would be a gross understatement. As far as I can tell, the current ownership is trying to shed its skin and distance itself from skiing as a business. The industry has changed and what people are looking for in a ski town has changed. People who came here to live or play as singles are now families. Going to Adventure Ridge is fun. Going to Pirate Ship Park is fun. So is going to Beaver Creek to ice skate. And going to Eagle to bowl. And going to Edwards to go to a modern movie theater. But why send that money out of the town? Why send those taxes out of the town? I am committed to Vail and to raising my family right here in Vail. Why should tax money that could stay here and improve the quality of life in Vail be constantly shuttled down valley? It shouldn’t. And voters who are trying to make an educated opinion at the polls shouldn’t have their intelligence insulted by people choosing not to fight a fair and honest fight. Vote YES on July 11.Jill AlfondProud of BiancaI would like to respond to “My town too” in Thursday’s letters to the editor section of the paper. As a school teacher in town, I would like to commend Bianca Reimers for taking part in one of our country’s oldest rights, political participation. I would also like to scold the “lady”who told her “to go home! This is none of your business!” We try and teach our children that the United States is a great place because each and every one of us has the right to speak up for what they believe in, and that this should never be stifled. I think that this exchange truly reflects how big this issue is to our community. In a resort town that is also a small town we need activities, and this building provides them. The sooner we get them the better! I hope the 10-year-olds of this community grow up to be in charge some day. And if they are like Bianca, I’m sure we will be in great shape.Rhena RizzoJust not trueI just finished reading Elaine Kelton’s letter: “Its design and size do not conform in any way with the alpine feel of Vail Village. The developer has refused any compromise.”Kaye Ferry referred in her column Wednesday to an article written by Ed Stoner last week in which expert consultants like Ford Frick and Ralf Garrison confirmed that the building in question is appropriate for our town. Garrison said “Vail already has its fair share of tall buildings. Crossroads wouldn’t be an unacceptable departure for Vail.” I won’t continue to repeat this article again as it is posted on the Web, but the point is bonafide ski industry experts who have worked with Vail previously agree that this building is appropriate. Kelton is giving her opinion and nothing more. As far as compromise goes, her assertion that the developer has not compromised is absurd. Town council member Mark Gordon confirmed in this newspaper that there was a lengthy compromise. “We negotiated with the developer for a few weeks on a developer improvement agreement (DIA). Never before has the town of Vail negotiated as hard as we did on this DIA.” (Vail Daily June 18).The opposition to Crossroads has tried every angle to get the public to be against this project, but it is a solid project with little to find fault in. The tactic that they are using now is to try and scare you into voting no by any lie necessary. Please speak up to the former protectors of Vail. Tell them the past is gone and the future is NOW! VOTE YES on JULY 11. Michael MillerVail, Colorado


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