Vail Daily letter: Setting the record straight
September 14, 2016
We are writing this letter in the interest of clarifying the issues that have arisen regarding the proposed sale of the Cordillera Lodge and Spa to a Baltimore-based developer, Concerted Care Group Management.
Over the past several months, there has been a great deal of comment in the press, in letters from Cordillera property owners, in responses from the Concerted Care Group, and via social media talk. That commentary has included some early — fearful and intemperate — expressions of worry about the presence in Cordillera of individuals with drug addiction problems; accusations that the district board of directors acted improperly; that the intention of language in the PUD has been wrongly interpreted; and more.
In the interest of fairness and clarity, let us offer some objective, common-sense facts that may help to set the record straight.
1. First, and foremost, it is crucial to understand that the Cordillera property owners' opposition to Concerted Care Group's proposed use of the Lodge and Spa property is not based on excluding anyone. Rather, it rests on a legitimate desire not to be excluded, themselves. Concerted Care Group's proposed use rests centrally on guaranteeing "anonymity" for their high-net-worth clients seeking treatment. As a result, it would exclude the Cordillera community's access to the existing hotel accommodations, swimming pools, saunas, spa, wellness facilities, restaurant, etc.
2. The Cordillera PUD requires — and the basis on which many of the Cordillera property owners chose to buy properties there — is that the Lodge and Village Center are to be, and remain, a focal point and "social gathering place" for the Cordillera community.
3. The current owners of the Lodge and Spa assured both the Cordillera community, and the Board of Commissioners, that their amendment to the PUD was not intended to allow any "new or additional uses." On the contrary, they pledged that the revised language was intended only to clarify that the Lodge and Spa could offer minor out-patient medical services to "residents and guests." The reality, however, is that Concerted Care Group's stated intention is directly contrary to that pledge. It is to convert the Lodge into a segregated medical facility, from which the Cordillera community would be completely excluded.
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There are a number of procedural and technical matters that are to be addressed, and hopefully resolved, by the Eagle County Board of Commissioners at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday. We will have to wait for the outcome of that hearing to know just what the path ahead will be.
We encourage everyone to pay attention, think about these issues, and work to separate the "facts" from the "fiction." A lot is at issue. For property owners in Cordillera, to be sure but, even more importantly, for the spirit and future of the Vail Valley. The well being, and commercial health, of this wonderful valley is enhanced by the preservation of its planned resort and residential communities. We do well to understand their nature, and to preserve their legacy.
Pete and Judi Dawkins