Vail Daily column: The only constant is change |

Vail Daily column: The only constant is change

Heraclitus' philosophy taught us that "change is the only constant in life."

Since the "New Dawn" era reached its perceived completion, Vail has stood on a tipping point between sociological wants and business community needs. The proposed Marriott Residence Inn project is a prime example of this dichotomy in action.

We have those in favor, such as many of the major business players in our community — the VCBA, VVP and Vail Resorts all of which have expressed their support — asserting that this change makes sense for the long-term business environment. Paramount to this argument are additional lodging price points, new housing for labor and public parking which are critical stepping stones for Vail to keep up with the Benjamins … Whistler, Park City Canyons, Tahoe and Summit County.

Paramount to this narrative is that we can no longer sit back and pretend, because we have built it, people will continue to come. This type of thinking is fine in terms of setting first impressions, but it will not hold water when the gleaming infrastructures are merely shells with no tangible blood and guts or functioning operational systems that make the facades come to life and create stories and lasting memories for our guests.

Who are the blood and guts … the very same people who generation after generation have made our "happy valley" such a special destination since Pete and Earl declared "this is it!" They are the people ensuring your child's safety while getting on the lift, teaching skiing and snowboarding for over 100 days each season, serving you exceptional meals with a smile and bending over backwards to ensure guests lodging requests are met.

On the other side of the coin we have residents who feel the change will hurt their properties value, obstruct views or create a struggle with density in a previously quiet neighborhood. Longtime locals and residents cannot afford to be elitist with the knowledge of challenges facing our younger generations struggling to match wages and quality of life that our Baby Boomer parents and grandparents reached.

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We also have leaders worried about how these same voices may impact their future roles in positions of community influence. As I'm sure time will tell, this should not be their worry as legacies are more than one decision in the making. What is remembered are the lasting influences of change, when changes are needed.

Chance to be a leader

So, is it a smart community decision to continue to hold off necessary improvements, taking a backseat to more progressive resorts, or do we continue to be a leader? I for one feel that we should put aside our short term ill will and frustrations because with change, our memories tend to be short sighted and disappear with time and prosperity.

The Vail Chamber & Business Association is the leading business advocacy group in Vail and is a communications outlet for businesses that want to have a voice in community affairs. If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber & Business Association and what we have to offer to businesses in and that do business in Vail, please contact us at 970-477-0075 or email Based in Vail Village, our office is located on the top level of the Vail Transportation Center. Stop by and say hello!

Ryan Kelsey is the director of sales and revenue for the Antlers at Vail, co-owner of Healing Hut TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) and a member of the board of directors for the Vail Chamber & Business Association.