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First 100 Days

Thank you for your interest in our notepad for ways we want to continue building local vitality, community, and opportunities for our residents of Vail. We will always be committed to Vail's Vision and Mission and strive to make Vail attractive for the brightest and most adventurous young adults and college graduates, families, and, of course, for our (long time) locals as we keep evolving. Our future starts with housing (that's affordable) and work opportunities. In that realm and all we are futurists in our thinking and in many cases are reframing the game with exciting and bold ideas.


The (future) happiness of our residents and vitality of our town is of our highest importance. 

Where you are creative, oh, please share with us. 💞

Please don't worry, the heart and soul of Vail will not deteriorate but rather we will continue strengthening our roots in new and exciting ways with a conviviality and laughter that flutters in the air. We are on a great start with the Town's newest deed restriction purchase program and its goal of acquiring 1,000 deed restricted units by 2027. And beyond that so much is truly possible. From an employment standpoint can we attract a reasonable number of new high paying jobs? Is it possible to bring Vail Resorts corporate HQ back to Vail or attract a "mountain" satellite office of a Facebook, Google, X (Twitter) or other software company? Can Vail attract the innovative economies of the future, including climate tech, A.I., and biotech? Yes, absolutely we can on all. But, we'll need to think carefully on the ways.

We will keep, as has always been done in Vail, dreaming big. We're very excited.


Below we give you a peek into our ideas. Some may be prove to be fruitless, but until we know for sure, we will pursue with open hearts and minds. Yes, some moonshot—lunar landing style—ideas are listed. While all are a bit audacious at the same time all are quite attainable.


There are a number of kinda simple things not mentioned below.

(1) One being reconsidering the Spruce Creek bus stop and saving our passengers on the West Vail - Red 5 minutes every ride and at the same time reducing the miles and extra gas that might not be needed. On a similar note, we are going to consider sophisticated and more clear "time until bus" digital signs installed at each stop on all the West Vail and East Vail routes. "Sophisticated" as many do not know which direction the "Red" or "Blue" busses run. We'll be creative. It might simply mean renaming "West Vail Red" to "West Vail North" (side of the freeway first) and "West Vail Blue" to West Vail South."

(2) OK - after one full year spend riding the Vail bus multiple times every single day you learn a lot. After a typical 5-6 minute wait at the in-town bus stop at Lionshead I asked the bus driver (who has been driving for years) if he had control of the bus timing/waiting at the Lionshead and Vail Village bus stops... would he be in favor of keeping the waiting times as long as they are? No, he wouldn't... the cumulative hours of people's wasted time is immense. Sometimes, with a jammed/full bus, we sit for many minutes until I'm allowed to move according to our schedule. Well, of course, right away (first 10 days) we'll meet with the Town of Vail bus supervisor to learn his/her ideas and immediately make that change to share/bring efficiency with our riders.


Will we actively and (with good hope) successfully execute a Rails-to-Trails reimagining program opening the stunningly beautiful railway section from Minturn to Leadville for cycling, wheelchair, walking, running, etc.? Will we successfully (with good hope) open light rail or semi-high speed rail (these tracks with their curves and bridges will currently only allow for 100 mph) from Eagle Airport to Vail? Yes, on both. 


We begin with one of the great challenges of Vail: continued and varied intellectual engagement and excitement.

We are having a hard time keeping people in this community, even though the quality of life is stellar,” as was captured in an August 31th article in the Vail Daily. The article was titled "Can higher education help solve Eagle County’s workforce challenges?" We know it can do far more that just that.


In the article, a further question posed, "Are there things that we could be doing to provide continuing education and lifelong learning to your employees so that they not only have the skills that you need but also so that they stay?” "Of course," agreed everyone at a roundtable discussion with Vail and University of Colorado leaders. Vail's difficulty in keeping young upwardly mobile adults intellectually stimulated can be partially solved with opportunities for lifelong education...

We've listed our ideas in categories: (1) Intellectual, (2) Community/Social, (3) Athletic (yes, we will help bring the 2033 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships to Vail/Beaver Creek), (4) Economic/Business. We anticipate that even though those categories may seem tight in their scope all will span other interests and have significant regional, diversity, family/child care, and environmental wins as well. And, yes, we too believe that aesthetics/extraordinary architecture bring happiness to our town and this component in Vail's next chapter will be highly regarded. Oh, perhaps, most importantly, we will empower others in our all projects, knowing the vision, to lead completely with occasional guidance when asked. Oh, there is also the Moonshot - the Vail Tunnel (yes, it's possible).

Will Vail become active participants in the "International Making Cities Livable Congress" - but, of course. The 60th International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) conference is being hosted by beautiful Bois Dore estate in Newport, Rhode Island, made available through the generosity of Fairfax and Sammons Architects on April 26-28, 2024. The theme "The Ecology of Place" seems particularly appropriate. They will dive into the important key issues of emissions and contamination, resource use and depletion, and ecological destruction, as well as opportunities for equitable human development, health, and well-being. Very inspirational story about how Le Plessis-Robinson, a town in the suburbs of Paris, was transformed by introducing traditional, mixed use living opportunities, beautiful architecture inspired by its local traditions, a lot of green, and a more balanced housing supply that included housing for seniors.

Do below move us forward on Vail's Vision: "To be the Premier International Mountain Resort Community!"

We believe yes.

And do below help Vail build and strengthen local vitality, community, and educational opportunities.

We also believe yes.

Does Aspen being rated as one of the best small towns in America by Condé Nast inspire us a bit, Absolutely. 😃

Where will our community gather daily in Vail moving forward? Well, since the start of modern civilization in America, communities (including the first city in America, St. Augustine, founded and established in 1565) had focal points for being together - the centerpiece then (and still around the world today) was the parish (church). Today, we have no parish churches for communities in Vail, but its an opportunity to grow and give our residents a whole number of (public) non-drinking focal points for our locals to gather today. We are quite hopeful on nearly every idea below and will NEVER turn away any good ideas (so please share yours with us).



This location (see above photo) next to the Grand Hyatt in Vail is where Colorado Mountain College (CMC) used to not only have its classrooms, auditorium/theater (great article about the theater), access to beautiful trails and dreams, but also housing for its students has been vacant or filled by lightly used offices since 2000. Yes, we understand that CMC is honored to be a Hispanic serving institution and is also Colorado's first dual mission college blending liberal arts and hands-on career skills training. And the Town of Edwards is now the proud home for this college that used to be in our town.

The gap provides Vail with a wonderful opportunity to potentially fill the location (already built for higher education) with a satellite mountain campus of a major university. From conversations with alumni of Colorado College the potential for turning our long-standing vision (of higher or continuing education in Vail) can be considered as reality. For the first time ever, Vail may offer on-site higher/continuing education from a renowned national university. Colorado College is highest on the list as they offer  classes in a block plan where one full 3-credit class lasts for 3 weeks (3 hours a day morning or night class). The student digs in deeply and quickly unearthing passions and discovering the world. So, whether it's a special scenario for Colorado College students to be able to live in Vail for part of their college experience or an opportunity for Vail residents to jump in and keep intellectually excited,.. WE ALL WIN.

First 100 Days: Actively pursue the connection and possibilities (from location of campus—hopefully the former CMC home—to housing and all else) with Colorado College, the University of Colorado, and perhaps others. We believe this is a program what would show itself in real life in 4 years (approximately Fall 2028).

"Our residents didn't know they wanted a satellite campus from a nationally renowned university or its benefit until we showed it to them."


Ski towns aren't only about fun, sun, and Glühwein.

Aspen has the Aspen Art Museum, Sun Valley the Sun Valley Museum of Art, Jackson Hole the National Museum of Wildlife Art, our sister cities: Museum of St. Anton am Arlberg, St. Moritz has six significant museums, Museo de San Miguel de Allende (and many others).


OK - the image here is from Aspen's art museum. It was designed by a Pritzker Prize-winning Tokyo-based architect Shigeru Ban. Yes, it was part of our inspiration.

As with all great organizations and towns, we use our vision as our guiding light. It is the question and answer to every major (and many minor) decision our Town of Vail makes. Which is, does what we are dreaming meet our Vision — "To be the Premier International Mountain Resort Community!"? If not, it's a very quick pass. If the answer is "Yes" we proceed confidently.

Our plan for the the Vail Museum of Art is bold, We know that. But we believe that the our museum will change and improve the town for the long term. And bring significant value to our residents and the entire region and new reasons for visiting as well. We are designing with six major areas inside including: (1) modern art, (2) classical art, (3) NFT art (digital moving art) - which is the new rage at museums, (4) a butterfly pavilion with both a "tropical dome" and a "Rocky Mountain ecosystem dome" (5) an "Art of the Dream" Vail History Gallery, and (6) a original vintage ski poster gallery. We've outlined a few ideas here.


In addition and important to our town's interests our museum will have a large rooftop terrace with a dining option and an amphitheater seating section for concerts and talks. 

First 100 Days: (1) Actively work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to and anyone else Russ recommends on our desired location: the current site of Vail Community Development, Vail Police Department, and town offices. And even more importantly, about the timeframe and possibility for rerouting the Frontage Road to be adjacent to the interstate. 

(2) Develop a proper timeline for when might be realistic for development and fund raising considering Vail Athletic (public pool, fitness, and hockey rink). Early renderings will be shared in late-2024. Our art museum is a longer term project — currently targeting ground breaking in 2031 — much needs to be built first (including the new home for our town government and Police Department), roadways recontoured, donors cultivated, etc.



Opening the universe a little more... to the heavens above Vail.

A few of you may have heard about the potential for a Vail Observatory. How does the saying go... "shoot for the moon because even if you miss you'll be among the stars." This is a joint funding project the Town of Vail will lead with Vail Resorts, USDA Forest Service, NASA, National Science Foundation, a consortium of universities and (Colorado College, University of Colorado, and others perhaps including my alma mater Purdue University - known as the Cradle of Astronauts which has a long tradition of contributing to space programs and projects) along with hopefully scientific organizations from Canada, Germany, China (another opportunity to extend our hand of friendship to the country of whom we named our most frequented ski bowl), India and Japan.

Why Vail for an observatory?

...our high altitude, clean dry air, dark sky, and proximity to Denver, all making our night sky more visible for students and all of us to better study and see our extraordinary universe.

With the interest right now which seems to be budding on "space" and telescopes this seems like it could be a really fun win for our town and another very interesting professional job or two or three or more.

Benefits for Vail: Continue to add breadth to what make Vail an exiting draw and one-of-a-kind town, residents and guests, for those who are not skiers or snowboarders or trail runners or mountain bikers. Yes, of course, their is hiking, fly fishing, and golf in the area too but a great number are not able or no longer take part in these outdoor sporting activities.


 Another important need/win for Vail is adding more (and a wider variety of) professional paying jobs— scientists, astronomers in this case. 

First 100 Days: Begin conversation with Vail Resorts. Our town's observatory is a long term project — currently targeting ground breaking in 2033ish — much dependent upon the plans of Vail Resorts. And with that being said, our involvement may be quite limited. But our encouragement will not be.

This a long term project (hopeful break ground date of 2030), much determinant on the timing of the complete rebuild of Vail's Eagle's Nest (which may be an important first project for the resort company). But the observatory will be a separate building — potentially connected to the "Holy Cross Skyway" (the aerial tram to Minturn upper station). 

Our observatory will be at 10,310' on the ridge to the west of the current summit station of the Eagle Bahn gondola. Yes, our ideas continually are expanded by our friends in Zermatt and their mountain top Stellarium (photo).

Oh, if there was any question as to the quality of the design and build... it will have a most exceptional design (yes, with an interior unlike dreamed previously to further open interest of the skies to all) and architecture and unparalleled views of the Holy Cross Mountains.

"Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us from this world to another." —Plato



Vail National Observatory is a rare astronomy center that lets star seekers spend the night for unparalleled views of outer space. From the top of Vail International Telescope the Milky Way can be so dense with stars it looks like a luminescent cloud. Jupiter may shine like a beacon—so bright you may wonder how you never noticed it before. 

Vail's will be a working observatory with its scientist and astronomers available to educate and inform the public.

The Observatory will likely be connected to the Holy Cross Skyway (aerial tram) station with its particular draw of a Michelin Star chef restaurant and its floor to ceiling windows over Minturn. This upper/arrival station also has a few number of (hotel style) rooms available which can be reserved for stargazing sleepovers and your own private astronomer to explain constellations and celestial bodies such as Jupiter, Mars and Pluto and so much more viewable from our telescopes.

Oh yes! For our non-skiers or snowboarders, there are now legitimate and tangible reasons to take Vail's new gondola from Lionshead to Eagle's Nest and then make your way to the Holy Cross Skyway upper station. Through Vail's powerful telescope, visitors can now observe the sun (with a special filter), the moon, and the bright stars and planets, such as Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, during daylight hours.



Preserve. Educate. Celebrate!

The next decade will bring a new location for our town hall and police department and depending upon that somewhere around 2033 will be approximately the time for the next renovation of the charming and tastefully designed Station #2. We believe we can gain about adding 1,600-sf of usable space under the same or similar roof design and potentially revive the 4th bay (now bathrooms) for part of the museum.


For the benefit of a bridge with our community and guests, beyond a new thoroughly modern fire facility for public and firefighter safety, the incorporation a gym, a larger living room, this may be just the right location for our fire department museum. Often towns have used non-active fire stations for their museums. But, to the contrary, Aspen, for example, has their firefighting museum in their active downtown location for easy accessibility to guests in visiting.

Come in and learn about Vail's history of our major fires. There will also be one of Vail's earliest fire trucks and numerous opportunities to learn about what can be done to prevent fires. Of course, we hope the museum will stoke energy for a potential firefighting profession, for our volunteer fire department, and our community workday program days. This will also be the place to purchase the popular sought after selection of official Vail Fire Department memorabilia, shirts, and hats. And for the “junior firefighters” the gift shop will feature children’s firefighter gear, books, and toys!

Hours for operation of the museum will be 10 AM to 4 PM (Monday through Friday) following that of other similarly sized alpine ski towns. Admission cost will be $8 (free for kids). The museum will be closed for a month commencing the final week of ski season and will be close the first two weeks of November. The Vail Fire Department Museum holds the safety of its staff, volunteers, and visitors as a top priority. This means that we occasionally need to make the difficult decision to close the museum due to circumstances.

First 100 Days: Conversation with our Fire Chief Mark Novak and his team. Not critical at all, but an idea to keep in mind as we more forward.



Or as Aspen did for their Sister City program they named one of the main sections of their Pedestrian Mall "Sister Cities Plaza" with the names of their sister cities engraved on a very large globe-looking design on their pedestrian walkway.

One idea that has been talked about is having the Sister Cities Park with a strong marker like done in the upper image. Different parts of of the park could be designated with trees, shrubs, and flowers from that sister city as well as a flag of their country. Our sense is that this level commitment and quality would continue to solidify our marking and our role as a very special and well liked international city/town. Who knows, but the attraction to visit Vail, to see all our care that we give to others, might just be heightened too. 

Whether a park or IF a plaza, we've been talking about this being a terrific opportunity for a new (and beloved) fountain. We have a few ideas for this... one being a unique globe representation on the ground of the world with Vail at its center. Then, fountain’s geyser-like spouts on the map would mark our 4 sister cities, each positioned according to its global relationship to Vail.

Or perhaps... we've also been inspired by London's most popular fountain. It has four "rooms" that minorly keep you dry. Many of the kids and others enjoy the thrill of running between rooms even when all the walls are up. We could, of course, get creative on our design. 😎

This park and/or plaza will simply further celebrate Vail's commitment to strengthening global economic ties and cultural understanding for all ages.

Yes, we may even add in a Vail Sister Cities Monument with fingerposts displaying the names and distances to Vail's sister cities. 

First 100 Days: (1) Actively work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to and anyone else Russ recommends on our desired location. 

(2) Consult with different fountain architects and look for outside funding.


I was at breakfast this morning at a friend's home in Eagle Vail and we were talking about the future of Vail. Of course, local vitality and community were the focus of our conversation. The woman insisted... "there is no community in Vail." Well, despite my doubts concerning the veracity of her beliefs comes an opportunity. 

As written in the Town of Vail's 2019 Civic Area plan, "welcoming/inviting public indoor and outdoor spaces that are safe, easy to access, and offer enjoyable daily opportunities for connectivity are essential to the success of Vail's local community." We couldn't agree more in 2023. Plus, these can be places where guests feel they can actually be at "home" with the locals too. The "where do the locals hang" question is most beautifully answered with Vail Athletic and the opportunities for gathering at the Vail Museum of Art on their rooftop terrace won't be too far behind (but more for events).


The Town of Vail envisions that beyond the athletic opportunities Vail Athletic (upper image) will make for a important public venue/gathering spot for locals and guests of the Vail Valley. Our rooftop terrace will offer both bakery & coffee shop plus a bistro with a world-renowned executive chef, sous chef, and culinary staff managing both. This area will be located above the part of the aquatic facility adjacent to the Lionshead parking structure — as easy parking access is an important part of the equation. This public area is large will have public WIFI and will accommodate up to 150 in the upper and lower indoor areas and another 150 people in two-sided the outdoor terrace (which exists on both sides of the indoor areas with an outdoor walking connection on the side looking at Vail mountain).

The below image is what is envisioned for our Museum of Art. Like the rooftop of Vail Athletic the Vail Museum of Art will have dining options all day. And, yes, as you can see it will be a "live" rooftop with trees and flowers & plantings that shift with the season. Additionally, we'll have a glass cover on part of it (both for protection from the elements but also to block vehicle sounds as our location will be adjacent to the I-70 freeway and the Frontage Road). We are hoping to have our rooftop terrace designed by landscape architect Martha Schwartz Partners. The area will also have amphitheater seating section used Wednesday evening community concerts and Thursday lunchtime musical performances.

First 100 Days: Work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to and anyone else Russ recommends as to our current strategy. 



Could Vail host a Christmas market like the most remarkable one in Chicago's Daly Plaza (it's the best in the United States) that draws in thousands each day/night? Or like the great ski towns in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. Growing up, at Thanksgiving, my family would drive to Chicago for a few days. We couldn't wait to attend their market. Yes, it was more anticipated than our Thanksgiving meal. 😂


Might this do more for our local economy than Vail's Oktoberfest? Could be a real draw for new (daily and overnight) guests to our town and add a month of joy and vitality for our local residents? Very possibly. Yes, mugs for hot chocolate or Glühwein and all kinds of fun huts with delicious foods and fun ornament shopping and much more... during a otherwise slower pre-Christmas time in town.

These markets around the world are open from Thanksgiving until Christmas. Yes, of course, it would be also a location to have a large Menorah and huts/tents with Typical Hanukkah gifts, such as dreidels, board games, and meats. Additionally there will be a Menorah Lighting Ceremony every evening with live music, dignitaries, and special guests.

First 100 Days: Will share with town council, Chris Romer of Vail Valley's Chamber of Commerce, Jeremy Gross - Special Event Coordinator for Committee on Special Events, Mia Vlaar - Economic Development Director for Vail Local Marketing District. Could this happen as early as 2025? Absolutely.


I'm not quite sure who “owns” rights, so to speak, to Meadow Mountain, the ski area from the late 1960s. But lightly and creatively reactivating tubing (and super light skiing opportunities) can help in the reigniting of this underutilized area, in the center of our Vail Valley, for kids and skiers and non-skiers alike. 

We keep hearing how Keystone and Copper are the places for family friendly non-skiing activities. But, we're going to open our arms a little wider. We, Town of Vail, will take the lead and, of course, work our good friends and neighbors from Minturn on this lifegiving project. 


It might be as simple as having the area use a low-impact rope tow with a hook to take tubers up the mountain and shaping tubing runs. And it might be the beginning point for the gondola to Beaver Creek with a mid-way stop at the top of Meadow Mountain.


Our warming hut, yes, Tyrolean/Swiss inspired (see photo idea), will not be a restaurant but rather simply a warming hut with concessions and a place to keep warm, meet with friends, etc. The hut will sell homemade deserts (we'll work with a local bakery - as good as Hovey & Harrison will be our goal), S’mores kits, hot chocolate. and other drinks plus have lockers and tables and chairs inside and on the patio. What about an outside fire pit for parents and others to watch their kids and friends slide on the hill? Sure, perhaps.​ We're listening and open to all your ideas... to give vitality and community another wonderful home in Vail. 😊

Our envisioned footprint will be very light.... And would include an easy rope pull for tubers and a very small but charming warming hut with a distinctly alpine character. That hut could also be a place that rents snowshoes to explore the trails beyond concessions. At sometime separate in the future there may be a gondola from here that takes skiers and snowboarders to BC with a mid-way stop at the top of Meadow Mountain. If this happens the small warming hut would potentially remain open many months of the year. 

As a beautiful little bonus, the transportation infrastructure is already place from Vail. The ECO Transit bus from Vail stops at Meadow Mountain multiple times per hour on its way to Avon.


Proposed hours of operation will be 9am to 7pm. To keep the footprint light, we will not put lights on the tubing hill but we will be creative as needed. And like other small tubing hills in Colorado, while ours will be in a most unique environment unlike any other, the cost for tubing will be $25 for 1 hour and 30 minutes of tubing.


We're not sure who will underwrite the design and build of the warming hut, but we're optimistic. Beyond having another location for vitality and community, we're committed to quality in every detail of this small hut and project.

Operation of tubing area would be limited to snowfall. Likely Christmas to mid-March.

Ski Touring / Uphilling at Meadow Mountain

With our base warming hut and free access area (beyond tubing rope tow) we hope MM can be a destination spot for uphillers with its beautiful routes (potentially groomed), clinics, and other events. Aspen's attention to the ski touring and uphill community has been a beautiful little nudge for us. We're not trying to be Aspen, but we listen.

 At a high level, we're looking to make Vail a more intimate place and activate more opportunities for vitality in our local community. We want to keep relevant to our local and ever evolving interests and, of course, be a town and valley that others can see as a place to call home for themselves too.

As lightly alluded to, there is a possibility that Vail may at some point have a gondola here in its village-to-village connection with Vail and Beaver Creek. This gondola is not planned as simply another opportunity for revenue. Rather, the hope is to expand the pie by providing more opportunities for our guests with physical disabilities - opportunities for them to travel and see the beauty of the White River National Forest from Vail (via the Lionshead Gondola) down to Minturn (via a transfer to the Aerial Tram) and then to Beaver Creek (via the MM Gondola). Additionally, to give all people more choices on where and how they would like to access their adventure on the ski mountains around Vail. Vail's founders first envisioned village to village skiing/travel and, well, they were onto something good. Will this tubing hill and potential gondola help local businesses in Minturn, yes, of course. Plus, in a generous offering to the Town of Minturn from Vail Resorts, a substantial amount of the day/single-ride gondola revenue will be shared with Minturn for its infrastructure needs, potential bus to Meadow Mountain from town, etc.



Just in front of the covered bridge in Slifer Plaza before entering into Vail Village is the 12 1/2 feet tall bronze sculpture honoring the 10th Mountain Division. It pays tribute to the 15,000+ soldiers who trained for the U.S. Army in nearby Camp Hale in preparation for alpine battle during World War II.

 Currently the area is slippery and ice/packed snow in the winter with the occasional breaking up of the ice as you can see here. With the popularity (and to help promote its interest and accessibility) of the sculpture we will look into adding heating elements under the stone walkway around it.

Low priority but will look into for safety/liability and visual inviting nature of heated non-iced/snow walkways.

First 100 Days: Will run the idea by others on town council and either individually or perhaps by town engineers will get proposals from PSI Plumbing Systems Inc., U.S. Heating System Inc., Climate Control Company, and others in the Valley.



For two summers during high school, I worked at Lake Park Pavilion. It was used for weddings on the weekends and during the day it would be open as a café. I worked either at the cash register or preparing food and it was truly an enjoyable place for all of us... both workers and park guests. The other day I was biking by Donovan Park and this charming building, but it was empty — no one inside and nothing happening. Quickly I thought how ideal an indoor public gathering spot (and its good patio too) this would be for Vail residents our guests. 

Often, I think how vital it is for our town to have a large public (easy to access) gathering spot or two... with free WIFI access, delicious coffee, and pastries, and, of course, comfortable chairs and couches. I understand that the latter will be difficult, but the rest could be a very manageable win for our residents. 

During my years after graduate school in San Francisco, well, every district of the city had their popular coffee shops where we'd grab our morning coffee before work. In many cases, people would spend many hours of their day there simply to be with the people. In this case and with the accessibility to the bike/running path, terrific playground, tennis/pickleball courts (with hope), basketball court, soccer field, and ample parking, I could only think "why would we keep the joy of this delightful building away from our people and only enjoyable by guests for weddings, etc. 

Quickly, the small Starbucks counter at Vail Health came to mind as model. But, rather than Starbucks, perhaps a local coffee house like Yeti Grind or Vail Mountain Coffee could have its counter in the northeast corner of the pavilion. Guests could use seats, chairs, tables (just a few) to enjoy this beautiful town building... and maybe even its patio with 4 or 5 tasteful patio tables in its shade.


First 100 Days: Yes, I've been told that it's a smooth operation that it used for weddings, but playing small does not serve or bring life to the many as the saying goes.


Update: After talking with Laurie Asmussen, manager of Donovan Pavilion this will not work right now. Yes, of course, someday perhaps.




Oh, this is simply a personal thing... I've been observing people's use of benches for years now. It's a joy watching how a bench affects people's perceived ease and pride of place. As "The Aspen Times" declared in the opening line of an article dedicated to their town benches: "What are Aspen’s most popular amenities? You may be sitting on one right now." They are raved about for their comfort, tasteful alpine "retreat" feel, unique authenticity "unlike any bench we've ever seen", etc.

What is it that might make for a unique bench (that invokes everything about this town is unique and beautiful, town pride, etc.) in a town that wants to be the premier international mountain resort community? Well, from my particular interest and observations, the truly enjoy and amazing public benches, are (1) wide enough, (2) deep enough, (3) solid looking & feeling enough, (4) have an inviting "warmth" in their look & feel, (5) and placement in shade always makes for a win. I've noticed that wooden benches with less ornamental metal often offer the "magical and real" feeling the easiest - but not always, for example, the benches (below) in our town are really comfortable.


In my perhaps absurd 😂 pursuit for what makes for a bench that creates magic, staying power, etc. I would often leave on my bike rides with a ruler/tape measure and enjoy stopping when I rode past attractive looking benches to "test" sit and measure. Of course, after seeing the popularity and enjoying myself, I inquired with the The Director of Parks and Open Space for the City of Aspen on the maker of their benches. Shown here (on the non-mobile version) in raw wood, though Aspen had theirs stained in brown. Also shown, for examples, are popular benches from Walt Disney World and one in the Swiss Alps.

First 100 Days: Meet with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to learn about our strategy for town benches. Our "Robinson Bench" from Keystone Ridge Designs along some of our bike paths are quite good and may actually be our direction. Some different ones along our bike paths and the one in front of Donovan Pavilion are terrific also.

Perhaps now is not the time for updating the town bench strategy, but it might be in 5-10 years. If and when, we would have an online site setup for purchasing a bench for one's intention. Then, in the tasteful feedback of many, on the back of the bench can be your chosen words/plaque making it "your" bench and still at the same time having everyone who sits on it think of it as "their" bench too.



OK - super super minor. But do we, Town of Vail, want to connect/learn with Town of Avon regarding the amount of time they wait/delay/linger at major stops (Lionshead, Vail Village, and Golden Peak in our case). I've always wondered how Avon’s lingering time at their main stop, Avon Station, seems to be less than 45 seconds... but it's delightful for the riders.

My often question when I get to the bus in Lionshead is "how long until you leave?" Generally the answer is about 5 or 6 minutes. With that time, I'll usually pick up trash around the bus stop or walk to the grocery store, just adjacent, to pick up a chocolate milk. Once or twice when I arrive at the grocery store a family is leaving and sees the bus telling their kids "Run! See if you can have the bus wait for us!"


Sometimes in the heart of the busy season, a bus arrives, people cram into the bus (where it seems like 70 people might be inside) and the bus then literally just sits there for those 5 to 6 minutes waiting until they go. With that arithmetic seven hours of people's lives are wasted simply waiting (inside a bus for it to move) at a single stop. And if a bus comes let's say 5 times an hour, well that's 35 hours of cumulative unproductive lingering time that hour (at that stop), and if our town bus runs somewhat busy for ~5 hours a day, well, that's 175 hours of "waiting time" by highly capable (and potentially otherwise productive) people each day just at the Lionshead stop... guests hoping to meet their family or friends, or make their dinner reservation, or instructors hoping to meet their ski school clients at another pod location, etc.

I can't fairly speak of the waiting/lingering time at Vail Village or Golden Peak, but it's possible that those stops add even more down time to the lives of our residents, employees, and guests each lap. 


First 100 Days: Do we, the mayor and/or transportation chairperson, and director of Vail's buses work to find how Avon’s lingering time at their main stop, Avon Station, is so short. No, we have no pride issues learning from others. Rather, we look forward to such especially when the municipality is just next door. Could this be an easy win? Maybe. Might it mean hiring another driver to allow more breaks for drivers to use restrooms, or do we trim our stop times by a little bit, or do we maybe add a countdown timer to the digital screen on the outside of the bus that say “INTOWN BUS LEAVING IN 5:58" (5 minutes and 58 seconds). Well, we don't turn away ideas. We'll just find the best one or combination of them. 🥂

No, we're not alone on latter part, New York is already on it "The Time Has Come for Countdown Clocks"


Play, swim, exercise, relax and enjoy in the heart of Vail. 



Vail Aquatics & Athletics Complex

Dobson Hockey Arena

Where aesthetics and world-class athletic facilities and our local community come together.​


Welcome to Vail's public community aquatics and athletics home. Our initial inspiration came from the public pool and fitness facility in St. Moritz. Our inspiration also came from many other facilities including Courchevel's new public pool, Harvard Business School, Purdue University, and others. Architecture is important to us and our clean aesthetic will be both harmonious in Vail's alpine environment and superbly beautiful — built on Vail's alpine tradition with contemporary flair.

Vail's new state-of-the-art hockey arena will be designed as the foundation (lowest level) and have its own entrance. And our rooftop terrace will have a bakery/coffee shop plus a bistro open to all.

Yes, the absence of an "outside of luxury hotels" athletic and aquatic facility in the Town of Vail is over. The Avon Recreation Center opened in 1995 and Minturn Fitness Center opened in 2014 are public alternatives but they are not practical, distance wise, for the majority of our residents. With our sincere gratitude to our very generous donors, the Town of Vail, Vail Resorts, and many other partners, Vail is bringing a new world-class athletic "home" to our town, yes, beyond our mountain. It will be a place for non-skiers to be invigorated and for our residents and guests to recharge after a day of skiing or snowboarding, or hiking, biking, or running, or a place to be active when the weather is difficult, and the list goes on. At the highest level — a sort of welcoming sanctuary where alpine atmosphere and culture merge into one another. The location will be the site of our current Dobson Ice Arena (and the land to the northwest) the middle of Vail with easy access on the town bus route.

First 100 Days: Work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to and anyone else Russ recommends as to our current strategy. 

""I myself am often there & am firmly convinced that the new aquatic center in St. Moritz has changed and improved the town for the long term. The project brings significant added value for the entire region, infrastructure and tourism.""


2033 FIS World Alpine Ski Championship

Is 2033 the year to bring the FIS World Alpine Ski Championships back to Vail / Beaver Creek? Perhaps yes. Perhaps even 2031It was the World Championships in 1989, thanks to the boldness and vision of John Garnsey, Jim Roberts, and Vail's President George Gillett, that first fully elevated Vail to the world's stage. Thanks to the Vail Valley Foundation, Town of Vail, and Vail Resorts, and so many others Vail has keep relevant and exciting in the international ski world and we look forward to continuing to build upon what the giants before us have done. 

First 100 Days: Gather understanding from the Vail Valley Foundation (meet with CEO Mike Imhof and board members), Vail Resorts (specifically Beaver Creek COO Bobby Murphy), the Town of Vail, Town of Avon (mayor and town council), Vail Valley Partnership (meet with President & CEO Chris Romer), and others. The decision for the 2033 World Championships will be on May 21, 2028. Realistically, we will need to have our 2033 World Championships lead team and supporters in place by February 2027.


We are investing in community and vitality.

For that reason we are not only keeping our sand volleyball courts, but we are making them better (see photo idea in slideshow).

Might our town host portions of the Winter Olympics someday – in 2042/46, quite possible, thou its no great dream of mine. In the meantime, we will continue to carefully cultivate a sanctuary for endurance athletes. Vail was first discovered and used by our American distance runners in the build-up to the Munich Olympics of 1972. Specially, Frank Shorter, as an early proponent of altitude training spent the 3-months directly before the Summer Olympics in Munich training in Vail with his fellow Olympic teammates Jeff Galloway and Jack Bacheler. Yes, Frank Shorter was the Gold Medalist in the Olympic Marathon that year... thanks to Vail, well, perhaps a little bit. 😅 When you come to Vail for training you quickly realize you don’t want to be anywhere else - everything a distance runner/athlete could ever want is here. It’s just amazing.

OK - Vail might not yet be thought of as a summer running camp destination, especially like the famed town of Iten, Kenya (see photo) at 7,874 feet. But we might be soon be on the list of best high altitude training hubs for runners. 

Speed work away against the background of iconic Gore Mountains. Warm up in along the run/bike path of the gorgeous East Vail. Then come to Vail's tree-sheltered track with its amazing view of the Gore mountain and let the views take your breath away. With snow capped mountains and blue skies it’s absolutely stunning. It will be an experience to share, with a view to cherish until your next visit. Or until you move to Vail. 

Regardless, if you're a runner, don't miss Vail's new track!

You'll love it. Can Vail (like other global mountain towns) become a runner's paradise? Yes, of course.


We believe having the finest track in the world can have a significant impact not only on community vitality, but also on our economy. The major stakeholder wins will be: (1) our residents - from youth to our seniors - who might use the track as a safe space to walk the outside lanes right near their homes; (2) our local students including our Vail Mountain School (located a 2.2 miles from track); (3) our Ski and Snowboard Club Vail athletes who will have a track 300 yards from their home base to train/improve their endurance and explosive starting power (3) our town with a new iconic spot for national/international press and marketing; (4) runners from around the world who for the first time might look at Vail as a viable high altitude location for spending weeks before their major marathons or other races.


It could be most beautiful location in America to be shared with runners and walkers - our 4-lane polyurethane track around the outside of the rugby pitch/field. Yes, most tracks are 8 or 9 lanes (around football fields), but with our interest of having a open track for the town — 4 lanes is just right with a width of 1.11 meters per lane (study this). 

Yes, one can drive 14 miles to Battle Mountain High School track (sadly, it's not available often, including when games are happening and morning and evenings when the fences are locked). But, perhaps considering the Vision of Vail (to be the premier international mountain resort community) a most track in a most glorious location will be a wonderful win for everybody.

This is a rough image mock-up of how the Vail Track might look like. The cost will be just below $1 million for the installation. This includes the movement of the mound of soil and replanting of conifer trees and a potential Vail Athletics Field center (seen in the images above). We may already have a donor. In the build, tasteful new bleachers will be added for the Vail Rugby Club and runners/guests to sit and enjoy the breathtaking area.​


If you're looking for someplace extraordinary to run during your winter/spring training... don't pass up on Vail. Our track will be cleared from snow beginning on St. Patrick's Day weekend each year. And, of course, you'll have access to Vail Athletic all winter long!

Timeline: The build will begin during mud-season of 2027. Yes, as mentioned, will need to move the mound (and replant the young trees) behind the volleyball courts back 25-30 meters (minorly tricky, but fully possible).

We are super excited to bring our residents and the Town of Vail one of the most beautiful tracks in the world with mountain views unmatched anywhere. Yes, much of the running world dreams for track time in St. Moritz and Chamonix surrounded by their gorgeous mountains, but really and truly, Vail's track with its freedom from buildings might even be more remarkable.




In a town without sidewalks, for the most part, small lights (with lighting that only shines/directs to the sideway/trail) along our only true walkway/bike path (Gore Valley Trail) would make walking, running, and biking, all more safe and more accessible. 

Yes - many different small sections of the Gore Valley Trail through Vail have lighting (including a few different 200-meter approaches to Donovan Park and the part of the Gore Valley Trail in front of Grand Hyatt has a 400 meter section of their own lighting. Our suggestion is to lightly light the Gore Valley Trail to our West Vail roundabout. 

ADDITIONAL UPDATE: Let's open our hearts to the idea of clearing/plowing snow the entire way from Lionshead to the West Vail roundabout. Currently, there is no way to travel (walking or biking, etc.) on the mountain side of the Interstate from West Vail to Vail (Lionshead) beside a car or bus. 


Yes  the Grand Hyatt clears snow for its 100m part of the path and the entire way from Donovan Park to West Vail is plowed, but no more. I believe the recreation path is unplowed from Lionshead to the Hyatt is that the "Cascade Way" skiing catwalk travels on the recreation path for about 40 yards. But, from personal testing (actually biking it) after a 8" snowfall it is quite possible to add in a divider and plow a three feet section for walkers, runners, and cyclists to navigate that section. Let's research.


This morning I met up with the 2023 Colorado Cross Country State Champion (from Vail Mountain School) and his family. After sharing congratulations we shared how it was perplexing that Vail never has become a training spot for runners. Yes, Vail was the training location for Olympic Gold Medalist Frank Shorter (he coined the very popular training phrase "hills are speedwork in disguise" here in Vail) and the US Olympic Marathon team prior to the 1972 Olympics in Munich. But today we only see photos of our Olympic runners along with the Kenyan and others from East Africa training in Crested Butte, Steamboat, etc. To become a training camp destination for runners is not our goal 😂 but we can start with more trail opportunities for our local and ski guests to run on in the winter. 

First 100 Days: Work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to and anyone else Russ recommends as to our current strategy. 



We are bringing Town of Vail tennis and pickleball to West Vail - specifically the courts close to the Grand Hyatt and directly adjacent to Donovan Park. With the change of ownership in the Grand Hyatt's property and inactivity of its fitness facility since COVID, the tennis courts have been neglected and as you can see are in unusable condition.

First 100 Days: Work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) and the owner of the courts. Our offer will be either a straight up purchase or a multi-year lease of the area/courts. We prefer a purchase of the land so as to expand the size of Donovan Park. But, if a lease is the only option we will be creative with terms as we will rebuild tennis Court #3 and turn Courts #1 and #2 into pickleball courts (3 pickleball courts can fit into 1 tennis court).

Bonus: Donovan Park, immediately next to these courts could even possibly be used for booking, meeting and relaxing with drinks on the patio, before or after, etc. 


Vail is looking into bringing the National Fitness Campaign 's Fitness Court to town... and have it accessible to everybody from our Gore Valley Trail. Ideally, we are targeting the Town of Vail's soon to be available land that is currently a parking lot between Vail Health and Dobson Skating Rink. But, we're also looking at a location in Ford Park (near the rugby pitch). The challenge with the Ford Park location is that its off the beaten path. In best practices learning from the city of San Francisco's National Fitness Campaign Fitness Court — they have theirs in the heart of the Marina Green and the city's most popular recreation path with the Golden Gate Bridge in perfect view — the fitness court is always crowded and has become another wonderful town gathering spot.

The Fitness Court consists of a seven-movement workout program for adults and children at all fitness levels. This National Fitness Campaign is dedicated to providing access to healthy Infrastructure to fight the rise of physical inactivity and make world class fitness free. The top photo here is from our neighboring town of Avon. Nationwide, there are over 5000 Fitness Courts like this — Denver has 7 of them as another example. If successful, Vail is open to having a second location also.

First 100 Days: Work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to and anyone else Russ recommends as to our current strategy. Of note, in conversations with the National Fitness Campaign the State of Colorado has national funding to be able to contribute $100,000 of the approximately $200,000 for the build.


magnolias - in edwards - flower workshop


In partnership with our Vail Chamber & Business Association we will actively recruit new companies, while retaining businesses, that will provide well paying jobs and value to our residents.

Can we continue to keep growing and incentivize reputable international brands that are exciting and useful for both our local residents and guests beyond t-shirt shops? And, of course, in ways that do not interfere with our already wonderful retailers including, yes, our terrific t-shirt shops! We will be bold in ways to enliven our town. Yes, we love our Helly Hansen, Patagonia, Lululemon, North Face, etc. Thank you!

On a similar tack as other premier mountain towns, and our sister cities who attract the world's finest retailers, we will be talking with Cartier and Tiffany & Co. (we surely have enough weddings and engagements here 😃), Ralph Lauren and others. The guiding light for our town is our vision—to be "the premier international mountain resort community." This is our litmus test... would our guests that this vision attracts and local residents find a luxury design house like Hermes, or a watch designer like Omega or Rolex, an desirable draw for our town? Absolutely. In our evolution, growth, and attentiveness to this we are only winning.


Plus, to keep strengthening our local vitality and community we are going to get super creative on ways to bring/incentivize a running store and a bike store (back to our town). One idea for the bike store could would be one with world’s most fun custom ready to ride bikes and handpicked products. We think it (like Above Category bike shop has done for San Francisco Bay Area) could alone be a draw to visit our town and at the same time a good fit for our residents and guests and cycling culture especially if the Eagle River Trail can get the go-ahead. These shops might just host (or be the meeting spot) a weekly Tuesday Track night or Wednesday trail run or the meeting location for Saturday 8:15 am group bike rides.


Oh, yes, we promise to work to bring a book store for our locals, guests, and the kids to enjoy! If not Edward's Bookworm, one with the same vitality and care for the community. If we truly want to be "The Premier International Mountain Resort Community" it all just feels right. Well, we really hope we can find a way to encourage and/or incentivize a flower shop (perhaps as amazing as Vintage Magnolia in Edwards) too. One of my ski school clients asked me about where she could get her hair blown in the Village or her nails done. I responded, "you need to bring one here!" Could a beauty salon (hair and nails) work in Vail? Of course, no idea that can bring value and vibrancy and good jobs is shut down. While there is no nail salon in Vail, there are three in the Town of Avon but its a ten mile drive. Of course, had to Google "Aspen CO Nails"... well, up popped 8 nail salons (Super Relax Spa & Nails, Manicures By Mara, Mill Plaza Nails Salon, Salon Tullio, Ultimate Salon, Full Circle Aspen, Nails By Naoma, Aspen Luxe Nail Bar) within half a mile of each other at the foot of Aspen ski mountain.

Might an indoor/outdoor Vail Garden Center might even have a place in Vail - either in the EverVail area (to keep "realness" of Vail still alive) or in the West Vail new development. Taken from the charming new Telluride Garden Center website, "Bring your gardening visions to life with a variety of annuals and perennials, hanging baskets, pre-made potted planters, herb and vegetable starters, seeds and soil, and gardening tools. Come to our warm and welcoming home." Or should we just think that everybody like to go down valley to Walmart's garden center. Well, it's worth the thought, simply because garden centers bring so much goodness to a community.


All are just ideas. Let us remember as Chris Romer, president of Vail's Chamber of Commerce, shared in a April 2024 Vail Daily article, "Local businesses are crucial for the growth and vitality of our community. They contribute to the economic prosperity, local identity, social cohesion, and resilience of our area. It is important to support the pivotal role that these businesses play in shaping the well-being of our community."

Yes, Chris, we completely agree. Let's, of course, shop locally to support our sisters and brother and neighbors. And let's also work together to build our local community in the Town of Vail before its too late and Vail has "no local community" as some people like to challenge me with by telling me with a near-anger that 'no one wants to live in Vail any more - if you want community move to Eagle.'"

Additionally, would we like to bring a natural foods grocery store, perhaps Whole Foods to the Town of Vail. Absolutely. Not only for better access for those hungry for local, organic, plant-based grocery options, but for opportunity it will open for stable higher paying employment and their well-known loyal and happy team members/employees. Oh, and dare I assume for all, but to bring that special enjoyable food shopping experience that many experience in Whole Foods to our town lacking such place. We are in contact with Jason Buechel, their CEO, who happens to be a fellow Wisconsinite from the town where my dad was born. And Jason happens to be a skier and an  avid runner too, so Vail could be a really good fit. More to come. 😋 OK - yes, you are correct, that until the potential merge of City Market and Safeway (and the combination of their two stores in Vail) the Town of Vail is on hold for having a Whole Foods here. In the meantime, there is a Whole Foods in Frisco (28 miles from Vail). Oh, do we want this in Vail, as opposed to Avon, YES. And we are on it.

First 100 Days: Work with Russ Forest, our Town Manager, and our Planning and Environmental Commission (PEC) to and anyone else Russ recommends as to our current strategy. 

Vail's Beer Gardens

As the country's cities have been enjoying a renaissance in summer beer gardens we thought maybe we should tap into that too.

So, in the spirit of gathering our Vail residents and greater Vail community together and visiting our town's beautiful parks... Vail might just bring a traveling beer garden to town. Yes, of course, we go to the source — modeling after the gardens in Munich, Germany. The menu will consists of sausage and Bavarian pretzels, but you can bring your own picnic, of course, too. On tap, by the liter or half liter, will be a super tasty German beer, root beer, and lemonade.

Following the lead of the German influenced town of Milwaukee, who uses their town's restored fire trucks converted into mobile beer trucks, we'll be using taking a "Traveling Beer Garden" approach. The idea is bringing our parks and community together. 🍻😋

Traveling where you ask, well, starting in 2025 our first beer garden stop of the summer will be Donovan Park, then after about two weeks, we will travel/move our beer garden to Ford Park, and then after that we will travel to Stephens Park, etc. Like has been beautifully done in Milwaukee, we may also partner with HB to create the ambiance, etc. 

The Multi-Season Donovan Park

Is the idea of turning the soccer field into a beautiful large ice skating rink too much for Vail? Of course, not. 🥶😄

Yes. we all love the 9,000 square-foot ice skating rink sits at the center of the village at Beaver Creek, surrounded by cabanas, fire pits and plenty of winter cheer. The size is delightful and we think we could make the rink at Donovan Park 11,000-15,000 square-foot. We also think it could be a most delightful win for our local community. Dare might we be able to say, Vail offers off-the-slope opportunities for our residents. 

Skate rentals, which include a helmet, are $15 available inside the Donovan Park Pavilion. Oh, the ice skating is free for everybody. No, this would not be an alternative hockey sheet of ice, but rather a space for our local residents (and guests) to enjoy free skating.

A DJ is often on hand, spinning records to keep the party going on the ice. Plus, hot drinks flow at the rink bar, with hot chocolate for the kiddos, all to enjoy around one of the nearby fire pits.

Vail Summer Concerts - In Town

In partnership with Town of Vail and Solaris, we are super grateful for the free Vail Bluegrass Festival. On my bus ride there a gentleman across from me had a "Telluride Bluegrass Festival" cap on. I asked him about it and he just raved. So, with that endorsement, I thought it was worth the look. The first headline I saw was "Telluride Bluegrass Festival Still Just as Dreamy as Ever." 

After arriving at the Vail Bluegrass Festival, my immediate thought was, while no bluegrass, how easy it could be to lay down artificial grass on the cobble stone street for the weekend (if that was the desired spot Vail to tied to). In San Francisco during street fair weekends they would lay down artificial turf/grass for relaxing with a blanket during the festivals. Or maybe we look into the grass area next to Gondola One that we use for the climbing wall at the Go-Pro Games.



Will we continue conscientiously extending our arms to invite/encourage exciting new restaurants for our local residents, employees, and guests? Yes, of course! We think that it would add to success of all the restaurateurs in our town. 

Might we actively pursue the chef from one of the country's most enjoyed bakeries? Yes (we've heard she is fan of Vail and is open to something cool). Yes, of course, we believe in a free market economy, but might we help find a good location/opportunity near Lionshead for another casual and easy Mexican sit-down and/or take-out that our Hispanic workers might be able to stop and eat after a day of working in Vail? YES. Might we look for something like they do at the fun and unique restaurant concept "The Matheson" which features 88 wines on self-tap, allowing curious drinkers splashes of multiple selections without over-commitment? With no reservations necessary, stop by before or after your dining experience. YES. Oh, do our locals and guests just adore the beautiful umbrellas and outdoor patio of Pepi's? YES. Do we hope to encourage more of this to add to our local vitality, of course! Yup, those big umbrellas sure add a special inviting warmth to the experience. 

These ideas above and more. #letsdothis

First 100 Days: Keep exploring. 😋


To alleviate the problems and confusion with the Town of Vail accessing services from Eagle County we will investigate relief in a constitutional amendment creating a Town and County of Vail. Additionally, In 2024, Vail's 9.4% sales tax includes a 1% Eagle county sales tax (~$4.2 million). Additionally, and a tax where our residents, guests, and employees benefit, there is a 0.5% tax for Eagle County Transportation and 0.5% allocated to the Regional Transportation Authority that support regional transit services, defined as services that connect one or more local jurisdictions, plus ECO Transit. The majority of the Eagle County sales taxes that Vail collects goes to the their libraries and other services in Avon, Edwards, Eagle, and Gypsum including. The Town of Vail Library (employee pay and operating expenditures is funded by Town of Vail).


There is no rush on this proposal, as the Town of Vail should first update or build new infrastructure to become self-sustainable as a county. This would include Vail having its own aquatics and athletic facility and ideally new police and town hall facilities, etc. Most realistically Vail will also have to have the Vail Tunnel Project at least in process to open up more local/affordable, etc. housing. Of course, beyond Vail's current 1% Eagle county sales tax returning to our area, more good professional jobs would be created by the County of Vail government. Currently it's listed that the public administration of the Eagle County Government employs between 400-500 people. But, not to worry we are not planning on duplicating roles. Like done when the Broomfield separated from Boulder County in 2001, instead of separate departments for police and sheriff, Vail would have its chief of police also act as sheriff. As a whole, the changes will provide improved services, more tax money staying in Vail, and a more representative government.

When we're ready this process would begin with a generous period of discussion potentially followed by an amendment proposal for the November state-wide ballot. If the proposal passes, the plan would include a three-year transition period in which to organize to become Colorado's 65th county as the City and County of Vail.


For years, the Vail & Aspen Police Departments were known for their unusual Saab patrol cars.


Tourists always came and were flabbergasted that we drove Saabs,” said Dick Cleveland, former Vail mayor and a former police officer. “It was a great icebreaker.” The program was masterminded by Vail Police Officer Joel Meriwether, a former car dealer in Florida, the Trail reported. For two decades the Saabs provided a uniqueness that set Vail in a special place

It is the Vail Police Department's goal "every day is to create and sustain a safe and relaxed environment within our jurisdiction which lives up the the mantle of a World-Class Resort Town."

First 100 Days: Work with Vail's Chief of Police, Ryan Kenny and our Town Manager, Russell Forrest on this unique opportunity we have to bring back that special one-of-a-kind "Vail Authenticity" that first made our pioneering town to magical. And with Tesla's zero greenhouse gas emissions it's another intentional commitment and benefit to our community. Perhaps now is just the right time to enliven Vail's creative beauty with Tesla's clean electric cars. 😃 If not, as ski film producer Warren Miller likes to say... well, we'll (Town of Vail) just be 8, 9, or 10 years older when we do. Yes, of course, as you'd expect, Aspen started a partnership with Tesla (in 2023) with all kind of cool paint jobs.​ Oh, our "Vail Police" painting on the cars will be amazing (we might have two different variations to stand proud and be a little more visible).


From the Aspen Times: "The Aspen Police Department has an idea that not only harkens back to the agency’s old days of Saab patrol cars, it helps combat climate change. They want the Aspen City Council to spend $311,000 on five new, all-electric Teslas for police administrators with an eye toward replacing the current fleet of gas-powered Ford SUV patrol vehicles.​“


We haven’t always had the traditional car police departments have,” she said. “It speaks to the uniqueness of our community as well as our department. ​Is it time for Vail being "unlike any place on earth" again too? Well, borrowing our original Vail tagline.

Vail Tunnel



Are we bold enough to build what will prevent thousands of crashes, hundreds of deaths, numerous annual mountain pass closures, and millions of slowdowns?

Vail Pass Closure_edited.jpg

This dual carriageway / divided highway Interstate would be eliminated. Also gone will be the eyesore, the danger for bighorn sheep, elk, moose, and other animals (or lack because of I-70), sound and smell pollution, the weekly winter I-70 delays because of conditions on Vail Pass, the danger and deaths on that snowy and winding section of interstate. The frontage roads on both sides of Interstate 70 would become one on the north side. The separation of north and south sides of I-70 is gone (and any need for pedestrian, animal, and vehicle under and overpasses, etc.)


Could the busy interstate of I-70 that splits the Town of Vail into two sides, north and south, with its fast traffic, its near impossibility for safe wildlife crossing, not to mention of absolute loss of wildlife due to the noise, air, and light pollution be a problem that is overcomable? There is no question that saving animals is at the top of the list for the Town of Vail — in October 2023 Vail Town Council voted to acquire the 23-acre East Vail parcel known as Booth Heights from Vail Resorts (VR) that VR was planning to build on for employee housing. The Town of Vail is paying $17.5 million to protect the bighorn sheep herd that inhabits the area. The Vail Tunnel will do both: regain space for wildlife including the bighorn sheep, elk, moose, and deer and also give significant new land options for employee housing and more.


Beyond returning habit to animals and far safer movement in Vail plus significant new space for housing (and more) can the annual loss of lives, accidents, and major day-long delays because of the dangers of driving over and down Vail Pass into Vail be avoided too?


We all know about air pollution and the noise/sound pollution (literally clearly detectable ever after biking or hiking 5-miles up Vail Mountain on the fire road), but we can't lessen the importance of reducing light pollution. Just a short trip, say 3 miles, from I-70 (past Minturn) reveals an incredible night sky and, yes, the Milky Way! Light pollution, artificially stealing the dark sky in Vail, from the Interstate removes everyone's (resident and guest) opportunity to enjoy our stars and the night sky. The International Dark Sky Places (IDSP) works to protect communities and parks around the world in preservation of dark sites through responsible lighting policies and public education. They share how the night sky and the nocturnal environment are naturally, culturally, and historically important resources worthy of conservation —  our universal heritage in the starry night sky. The tunneling of I-70 will not only bring back the ability for humans to enjoy the night sky, but it will also significantly be a benefit for our insects and mammals (who want to be as far from I-70 as humans do). 

A research paper titled "Light pollution a reason for insect decline
Artificial lighting at night could be a reason for declining insect populations" shined light on much. 
"Scientists analyzed all recent studies on the effects of artificial light at night on insects, and found that there is strong evidence to suggest a credible link between light pollution and declines in insect populations" as the title shared. Another study by the Wildlife Society did an experiment of "testing the butterflies at night, a time when the butterflies are normally at rest and quiescent. They found that light exposure at night impacted the butterflies’ rest. “It’s like when you’re in bed at midnight and someone turns on the light,” he said." The article went on to say how monarch butterflies are already facing declines and a number of threats from habitat loss and how "eliminating highway lights, for example, may be impossible" in our protection. Well, we in Vail we have a beautiful habitat that we're pretty good at protecting and actually do have the possibility to eliminate the lights from the freeway giving butterflies and all animals a bit of our shared/collective home back.

Following on above, the November 4, 2023 Vail Daily article, "If you care about living things, turn off your lights at night" share how it was not just butterflies and mammals affected by artificial light, but also aquatic life. In the case of Gore Creek, well, it's directly next to I-70 for much of the way through Vail. The article shares how "some larval aquatic insects including mayflies, damselflies, dragonflies, caddisflies, and stoneflies detach themselves from rocks during the dark of night and float safely downstream. The fish cannot see the insects floating above them in the darkness. Artificial overhead light makes silhouettes of the insects and that makes it easier for fish to find and eat those insects."

The saving grace this super tight section (significantly different then Avon, Edwards, Eagle, Gypsum) of I-70 might be the rapid advancement of the tunnel boring machine (TBM), also known as a "mole." Innovations in the past 5 years have massively increased the speed at which they can operate in excavation of tunnels. And much of the process is becoming automated.

It's now feasible that the 2005 recommended tunnel drilling (of five options including simply covering the interstate in the same location — which was actually the least desirable due to the fact that it would slow traffic for 10 years and amplify noise to the extent that we might completely scare away all wildlife) that would have taken 5+ years can now be completed in less than two years. This significantly reduced time schedule is because of today's rapidly quickening boring abilities and the simultaneous ability with artificial intelligence and automation to allow for a continuous 24-hour/365-day work cycle (and a dual direction tunneling approach).

If the tunneling option is the one pursued, it would have very little impact (noise, traffic congestion, accidents, etc.) on I-70 traffic and the town. The redirection of the interstate would be turnkey when the tunnel was complete. One more major benefit would be that entire lower Vail section (of the former I-70 route) could be used for new housing. This is a HUGE WIN for employees and residents in our situation where there is no more open land. Some land will be designated as "open space" and other areas annexed to develop a substantial number of units community housing (be it employee. affordable, senior housing or traditional market-rate homes, etc.), parks, a business/retail park, opportunities for faith communities (aka: churches, synagogue, etc.) and, of course, new hotels. In a creative plan with the State of Colorado the profits from the sale of this new land will be split between our town and state.

The route for the tunnel has taken many options. From two decades of study the finest solution is tunneling from just before Vail Pass to the Avon side of Dowd Junction. That route will actually avoid tunneling under the skiing parts of Vail mountain itself. It will remove the dangerous descent to Vail from Vail Pass. It will save many lives and it will  eliminate the "I-70 Vail Pass closed until further notice; expect significant delays" messages that happen on average 10 days each winter. The tunnel will shorten the distance and time needed to travel the section by approximately 8 miles and hours when winter slowing and closures are taken into consideration


The total length of the Vail Tunnel will be 14.3 miles (see map below).

In the Tyrolian Alps they are in the midst of the megaproject called the Brenner Tunnel. It will be a 34-mile tunnel that was envisioned for mobility to keep economies/goods moving on one of Europe's busiest mountain corridors. Over 50 million tons of goods connecting a $100 Billion economy pass across that highway each year. In 2022 about 2.5 million trucks moved over Brenner Pass. To alleviate the traffic, delays, and air pollution in the mountain area Austria put restrictions on the number of transport trucks to 200/hour and restrictions on night travel. Those restrictions became controversial for free trade and travel and even Austria's Ministry for Climate Action said that litigation/rules would not solve the problem. This is where Austria's $11 Billion tunnel came in. Upon completion of the Brenner Tunnel, Austria plans to rejuvenate and return the area around it to it's original state as much as possible through a process called "renaturation."  


In a "live" example, the Laerdal Tunnel in western Norway is just over 15 miles. It's become a bit of a tourist draw (beyond it's functional benefits) with its brightly colored lights placed every 3 miles to help drivers stay alert. It also features a trio of caves which serve as rest areas and spots that allow drivers to turn around and head back the other way if needed. Laerdal, completed in 2000 (after a five year build), is the first vehicular tunnel in the world to boast its own air treatment plant. Oh, one of the rest areas is designed so weddings can be held inside. 😁 


Another "live" tunnel is the heavily trafficked 7.2 mile Mont Blanc Tunnel. It was completed in 1965 and whisks nearly 2 million vehicles a year between the ski resorts of Chamonix in France and Courmayeur in Italy, Over 55 years later it's still an attraction marveled for the land it allowed for the wilderness around to be free and open to discovery.

Part of the reason for this renewed look into tunneling I-70 needs to give thanks to Elon Musk and his Boring Company. One of the Boring Co's central missions is to bring down the costs of digging tunnels by developing faster and more efficient boring machines. A few years ago, Elon offered to drill a hole through an Australian mountain for competitive price of about $15 million per kilometer (which is significantly cheaper than previously conventional rates). The 35.3 mile Washington D.C. to Baltimore Loop Project (more here) proposed by The Boring Co. has yet to take form, but nonetheless, was additional confirmation that in the United States we are not alone in our thinking. 

From the Boring Co. site some of benefits of tunnels are: 

Minimal Use of Land: tunnels minimize the use of valuable surface land. And during the building do not conflict with currently operating transportation systems, such as roads and sidewalks

Territory and Open Air: beyond previously unusable areas of territory/land being opened again areas gain the simultaneous benefit of clean air

Weatherproof Operation: rain, snow, wind, and surface temperatures do not affect roadway operation

Minimal Surface Impact: tunnel construction and actual vehicle use do not create any discernible surface noise or vibration. Tunnel construction and operation are invisible, silent, and undetectable

Future Expansion: it is much simpler to expand a tunnel-based system than a surface-based system

Beyond the terrific advancements of Elon's Boring Co. is Earthgrid of San Francisco. They are developing a new plasma boring robot that can dig large tunnels even faster and without debris. Unlike conventional boring machines, which typically use massive cutting wheels to excavate tunnels, Earthgrid's robot blasts rocks with high temperatures to break and vaporize via a process called spallation. 

The Earthgrid machine can run on electricity, meaning it can also be emissions-free, depending on how energy is sourced. Earthgrid also claims that its system, which doesn't need to come into contact with the rocks directly as it excavates, is so fast and cheap it will open up a whole host of possibilities. In other words, projects that were once deemed economically unfeasible will now be possible.

Using a high-speed configuration, Earthgrid says it can tunnel up to 1 kilometer (0.62 miles) per day, which is approximately 100 times faster than existing systems. As a point of reference, Elon Musk's Boring Company does roughly 0.24 km (0.15 miles) daily with its Prufrock mechanical tunneling machine. However, the Boring Company aims to eventually bore approximately 1.13 km (0.7 miles) per day with Prufrock.

And regarding cost: "We are so much less expensive," Earthgrid's website reads, "due to far lower operating costs (no need to change out drill bits & cutter heads multiple times daily, much lower energy consumption, robotics = far fewer workers, no drilling mud and/or drilling chemicals to dispose of, easier spoils removal, sale of our spoils for road & concrete manufacturing, etc.)"

Visual Challenges
"Excavating such a structure is only one of the challenges. Designers also have to ensure that motorists can make the long, underground trek without succumbing to "highway hypnosis." To address this problem, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration called in a team of psychologists to make sure the finished roadway was as stimulating as possible. The agency recommended including blue lights and gentle curves to keep drivers engaged. They also suggested that the final tunnel be divided into four sections to help reduce monotony. Motorists entering the Laerdal Tunnel today might not notice these design enhancements, but they'll certainly appreciate them when they emerge safely into daylight after the 20-minute journey through the middle of a mountain."

-quote taken from: How Stuff Works in relation to the Laurdal Tunnel (a 15-mile completed road tunnel)


First 100 Days: Put together a serious and active exploratory team able to look into when and what will be the best ways to do this. Yes, there will be a spur and portal to/from West Vail for those coming to Vail (in addition to the main Dowd Junction portal). Plus, for those who live in East Vail, like at Loveland Pass, the twisting mountain roadway over Vail Pass will remain (be transformed) as a lower speed highway that by-passes this new I-70 Vail Tunnel, Additionally, as you can see in the 2005 report above, we have updated the initial 5 routes with below which eliminates the need to go over the treacherous Vail Pass. Additionally, this new route does not go under our current ski run/lifts as mentioned earlier.

Questions regarding the ending of I-70 (approximately 1-mile before the top of Vail Pass on the Copper Mountain side): It's not an ending of I-70 but rather a redirecting of it into the Vail Tunnel. The original I-70 will become Hwy 6 at that point and will be accessible via the last exit before the tunnel. Hwy 6 will continue to and through Vail and to the Dowd Junction portal (with the option to then access i-70 or stay on Hwy 6) — the distance of that full route will be ~22 miles vs. ~14 via the tunnel. Regarding speed limits on Hwy 6: From the top of Vail Pass to the town limits of East Vail the speed can be 55 mph and through Vail the speed limit will be 40 mph (with 20 mph in our pedestrian heavy area from just before the Vail Village parking structure and through Lionshead).


Both frontage roads will be consolidated into a kind of "parkway" version of Hwy 6 with aspens and evergreens designed in an 8-foot center median. From Vail mountain this new roadway will be nearly indictable with its minor tree canopy (when grown). 😄 Yes, great landscape architects can reinvent a town (compare to the photo of Vail's current roadways). Top of our mind is Jennie Gang as this architect for us. Excellent info in Vail's October 2023 Transportation Plan.

Are we bold enough to dream and build a tunnel like Switzerland, Germany, Austria, England ("think" the English Channel tunnel). and many others in Europe? 

YES, of course!

Basic VAIL TUNNEL information:

  • Length from (excluding the West Vail Portal with 1 mile spur) Copper Portal to Dowd Junction Portal: 14.31 miles

  • Inner diameter of the tunnels: 10 m

  • Slope: 0.5 ‰ – 5,8 ‰

  • Design speed for vehicle traffic: 75 m/h

  • Emergency stops: three "caves" so to speak with opportunities for rest, with one larger stop for small weddings like the Laerdal Tunnel in western Norway offers (OK - maybe not, but like other great road tunnels around the world, we promise you some magical touches)

  • Spoil: 8-11 million m³

  • Excavation methods: 20 % Drill and Blasting, 80 % Tunnel boring machine

  • Secondary win: Housing on I-70 for employees/seniors/etc.

UPDATES: We used to think that we'd have to wait until Vail's hometown gentleman, Mike Johnston, currently the mayor of Denver became governor before we'd ever get any traction in the Governor's Office (and funding consideration from CDOT for the tunnel build). But this isn't necessarily the case. As more comes to light, it's clear that Colorado Gov. Jared Polis is pro-housing and protection of our environment and wildlife and very pro-mountain living sustainability. Gov. Polis announced his budget proposal for the 2024-25 fiscal year on November 1st and even in this 'tight budget' year, he prioritized education, housing, safety and environmental protections. One could very comfortably say that our proposed Vail Tunnel helps all these interests and significantly impacts housing (especially near transit corridors, as is important to Gov. Polis) and protecting our environment and wildlife. Of the latter, loss of habitat is among the biggest problems. District wildlife manager Brian Woodrich noted that’s something out of the agency’s control. But in our circumstance Vail will actually gain back habitat with open space and parks (among new residential housing) and more reasonable traffic speed and volume of traffic.


Re: housing. Unfortunately, good "community" housing/living is realistically is not an opportunity that the Town of Vail has any longer. Of course, we all would love to have something like the Miller Ranch Housing Neighborhood in Edwards. For those not aware, it's a public entity that partnered with a private developer to provide local, deed restricted housing that includes single family homes, duplexes, townhomes and condominiums. It is Eagle County's premier affordable housing community. It's won nearly every national award also including the Jack Kemp Models of Excellence Award which "recognizes exemplary developments that meet workforce housing needs in high-cost communities." The deed restriction caps resale prices and also reserves home ownership in Miller Ranch to residents of Eagle County.

Yes, mixed with standard non-deed restricted housing and employee housing, this is what the opened corridor with I-70 moved to the tunnel will open up and allow for our beautiful town of Vail. And, yes, as the Miller Ranch Housing Neighborhood has done in creating the Valley's finest community, we will be able to build that "community" back in Vail too. Well, with good hope and lots of Irish luck and prayers. 😇 

Here's a few more reasons that we believe our "moonshot" of the Vail Tunnel and using the abandoned I-70 to include a significant amount of deed restricted housing (like mentioned above) is becoming more and more critical daily. One being that the amount of mental health conversations/articles in the Vail Daily seems to have become a daily occurrence. "A paradox exists in paradise: Too many people living in Colorado ski towns suffer with mental health problems, including a staggering number who’ve committed suicide in recent years, when it seemed like they should be having the time of their lives. This happens due to a confluence of forces: wealth gaps in mountain towns; lack of affordable housing; communities that rely on shredding during the day and partying at night for their happiness..." as mentioned in this article.

In another article on November 5, 2023, on the closing of the monumentally valuable Vail Jazz after 29 years of bringing musical enlightenment/joy to our town, well, it shut for the same issue of affordability. "A challenge the Vail Jazz Foundation faced was recruiting and retaining staff who could afford to live in the Vail Valley. Taken together, it was very apparent that the long-standing Vail Jazz business model was no longer tenable,” Valente said. “The decision to close was in no way easy, but it was clear to the Vail Jazz board that this was the only responsible option.”

In one more article on November 14, 2023, from the Wall Street Journal, titled "How Two of America’s Wealthiest Vacation Spots Are Fighting to Free Up Homes for Locals - Officials in Vail and Nantucket are employing a number of strategies, like deed restriction, to ease their affordable housing crunch" it shares the similar struggles with Vail being an "island its own way. The WSJ article calls "Vail. Colo., tightly packed with relatively new, but traditionally styled, buildings, is bisected by I-70 and bounded by the White River National Forest." It continued, "George Ruther, the town’s housing director, who is charged with finding places for middle-class workers—including the town’s more than 300 employees—to live. “If that wasn’t national forest, it would all be built on,” Ruther says, pointing to the carpet of trees flanking I-70. “Our challenge with housing,” he says, “has always been the scarcity of land.” But there is one difference to Nantucket - and that is Vail can actually free up significant housing space with the proposed Vail Tunnel.


Red Cliff - Rails to Trails_edited.jpg

...for now calling it "Eagle River Trail"


Is it a long shot? Of course, but the absolutely beautiful 42-mile railway, called one of the most breathtaking train routes in America, from Leadville to Minturn hasn't had a train running on it for 25+ years... since 1997. Shown here is what the train route from Minturn to Red Cliff looks like along the Eagle River and below the Red Cliff Bridge. We hope to open this beauty up to everybody and in the process reinvigorate the entire corridor. We hope this will open new community and economic development plans (whether it's new or more vibrant/profitable coffee shops, restaurants, or bike shops, etc.) and safely linking world class resorts and historic towns.

We recognize that not everybody can hike or walk or run and we hope to bring equity to all possible. Accessibility is a genuine interest of ours and will be one of the great wins.


Currently to bike to the historical town of Red Cliff involves an 5-mile climb up Battle Mountain along a poorly maintained Hwy 24 with no shoulder at points and then back down to Red Cliff. A few cyclists might make journey each week, but no one can walk/run it... and surely no child or senior or one in a wheelchair. The railway runs along side of the Eagle River and, as you can imagine, is as smooth as a train requires with no surprise hills.

Oh, this bike path will also give (non-vehicle) access to the recently named Camp Hale - Continental Divide National Monument at the site of the World War II home of the 10th Mountain Division, the U.S. Army’s first and only mountain infantry division.

Will this route bring new attention to our region when it is listed as the best (or one of) rail trails in the United States. Yes!

First 100 Days: Connect with the Mayors of Minturn, Red Cliff, Leadville to share what we are going to pursue.

There is a significant amount of support available for rails-to-trails programs opening safe community recreation paths for the first time. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in Washington DC is a large organization that will be helping us in the process. 

Eagle River Trail

Town of Vail - Vision
To be the Premier International Mountain Resort Community

Town of Vail - Mission
Grow a vibrant, diverse economy and community and preserve our surrounding natural environment, providing our citizens and guests with exceptional services and an abundance of recreational, cultural and educational opportunities.

Do we plan on pursuing a donor for one of Robert Indiana's LOVE sculptures for our outdoor art. Yes 🤟 

Please WRITE US 

Vail — Where friends and the mountains meet.

Or please feel free to contact me by phone at any time. Cell: 415-215-4489

NOTE: Immediately, upon election, we will set up a Mayor's Advisory Council. It will consist of a distinguished group of residents, educators, leaders, business owners (both past and present). With shared commitments toward Vail's progress, prosperity, social equity, and growing our town's reputation, the council provides a fresh and energetic approach to envisioning what is needed in this next era at our doorstep. As futurists we realize that in the next few decades there could be significantly less snowpack than we've been blessed with this far in Vail's history. With good fortune and our gratitude, we are building on a rich legacy. Members are selected for their valued expertise in their area of interest.

The council advises, assists, supports, and advocates for our Town of Vail on matters that drive next-gen/era research and innovation to not just attract young families, create jobs and support business, but also inspire wellness in the world. The group meets at least biannually (with the Christmas gathering at the Mayor's home). The inaugural meeting will be held in person (location TBA) before the first 100 days since election have passed. Future meetings will be held in the Friends of Vail Athletic board room or Buena Vista rooftop upper room. 

My Sincere Gratitude

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. With confident optimism. —John Brust

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