Minturn residents ponder economic impact of Ginn’s private ski area
MINTURN – So many people ate at the Turntable Restaurant 10 years ago, Darla Goodell had to hire a parking attendant. “The downtown was alive, we had people walking and talking on the streets,” said Goodell, owner of the Turntable Restaurant and Motel. “That energy just isn’t there anymore.”Goodell and other business owners haven’t done as well in recent years, they say. Others say that Minturn business is thriving, but that it could improve – and that improvement could come from the Ginn Development Co.’s homes and private ski resort south of Minturn, they say.Growing towns such as Edwards harmed Minturn businesses in the past few years, said Al Brown, owner of Chili Willy’s. People don’t drive to Minturn to get what they want now, he said. “It kind of moved west like everybody else,” Brown said about business. Brown and Goodell would like to see more events like the summertime Minturn Market to draw customers to Minturn, they said. Concerts and weddings would help and the town should be more aggressive in bringing business to Minturn, Brown said. A diversity of businesses, such as novelty shops and an ice cream parlor, also would help bring people to town, Goodell said. Minturn’s goals are to retain and strengthen existing businesses, replace lost businesses and to introduce new businesses, said Ashley King, new economic development director for Minturn. The town can accomplish those objectives with collaboration from business owners, she added. “We already have the resources, we just need to use them,” King said. Minturn has more than 160 business license holders, King said. Those businesses include retail, service, development companies, rental companies, carpentry and construction companies, she said. And some of the businesses are thriving, owners said. Jim Popeck had a record first quarter at his bicycle shop this year. An early spring and some eager customers made for good profits, said Popeck, owner of Mountain Pedaler of Vail in Minturn and Eagle.Ginn taxes would contribute millions in revenue to the town at little expense to Minturn, said Ford Frick, managing director for BBC Research and Consulting, which conducted a study for Ginn. Minturn would gain more than $6 million in surplus revenue in Ginn’s second year, according to the study.Costs for police services would rise the most, but Ginn would supplement that with its own security, Frick said.
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