“If Vail Resorts was a good citizen of the community, they’d make a fair negotiation with you.”– Betsy Kiel, local resident who apparently doesn’t understand why rich people live in the town.
Last week, Vail Resorts filed a legal complaint against the Town of Vail due to their fierce resistance to Vail Ski Resort wanting to build an employee housing unit in East Vail. In terms of how the locals feel about the situation, at least a few of them back the town council.
Vail Daily reports that numerous locals came out to support the town council against Vail Resorts in a Tuesday meeting. One person said that Vail Resorts had fifty-six years to build worker housing and not do anything about it, and another called the ski resort’s reasoning “a load of hogwash.” One resident suggested that the council vote on sending a referendum to the town voters. Another person said the town should use the raised amount from real estate transfer taxes (1% for each transaction) in order to buy the property from Vail Resorts and then condemn it to make sure no one builds on the land.
These residents, and the recent actions from the Vail Town Council, prove that NIMBYism (Not In My Backyard) is alive and well. Many million-dollar homes exist in the winter bighorn sheep range, and some even exist in the winter bighorn sheep concentration area. The proposed worker housing site barely enters the winter range, as it’s super close to I-70 Frontage Road.
Additionally, Vail Resorts has collaborated with a bighorn sheep expert to make sure they do the project correctly. I’m not typically on the side of Vail Resorts, but it’s clear that the proponents of the town council are rich people complaining about the realities of living in the mountain town. Vail is one of the largest ski resorts in the country, and it needs large worker housing buildings for its employees now more than ever. If the town really cared, they’d stop construction of the new homes being built in that area of East Vail. It’s a rich town run by millionaires and billionaires, with a lack of self-awareness that you need employees to run a ski resort. When there’s a lack of worker/affordable housing, you get less terrain, lifts, restaurants, and hotels open, thus leading to a poor customer experience.
This is ultimately one of the few battles I hope to see Vail Resorts win.