A fine balance in wonderland | SummitDaily.com

A fine balance in wonderland

Whitney Childers

I had the strange pleasure of viewing Summit County through the eyes of tourists recently. It was more like an Alfred Hitchcock movie than a vacation.

My parents were visiting from Oklahoma last week and I was playing host. My job? Provide my folks with a Summit County experience they wouldn’t soon forget.

My parents are of the “RV” generation. They hauled their fifth-wheel trailer and two beloved dogs to Summit County, where they made refuge in Tiger Run Resort. My mother referred to it as “The Beaver Creek of RV resorts.”

My father was able to watch cable TV and work on his laptop. The fact that they called it “camping” was laughable – but I enjoyed their enthusiasm nonetheless.

One evening, I escorted them to Breckenridge and we walked up and down Main Street. My father remarked on the interesting architecture and history and my mother asked if they had any “normal” stores.

So, I sent them to City Market.

Not that they didn’t enjoy Breckenridge. In fact, they loved it. They just weren’t thrilled to buy a $30 T-shirt or eat a gourmet sandwich for $9.

Same reaction with Frisco. Again, my folks loved the area and storefronts, but didn’t venture inside. They were content absorbing the atmosphere and debating about the haze and low-water level of Dillon Reservoir.

I think my parents wanted more action. So, I sent my father on a fly-fishing trip, and thanks to the nice folks at Cutthroat Anglers in Silverthorne, he had a marvelous time.

Now, I was on to somethingS

I then took my mother horseback riding at Bar-T-Outfitters. And, despite the hour-long drive through construction and dust, we had a marvelous time, too.

I had managed to “mellow out” my parents – not a small task.

Both my parents remarked on the tourist atmosphere and wondered how I lived in such a place – a wonderland. To them, it just didn’t seem real.

But, my father also asked why anyone would want to leave a place like this. I then broke it to them how much my Frisco duplex cost. They both about fell out of their chairs. You see, the money I spent on my half-a-duplex could have bought a small farm in Oklahoma. It probably would have included the cattle, too.

Ironically, my duplex is on the lower end of costs for Summit County.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I’ll take a 1,200-foot duplex and mountains any day over a hundred acres, cattle and a view of the enormously flat plains.

The thing is, you’ve got two kinds of visitors to Summit County – those who want that $30 T-shirt and those – like my parents – who want the experience.

We have to cater to both types and – at the same time – find a way to make Summit County viable for the folks who do the catering.

It’s a fine balance in a wonderland.

I suggest you see Summit County through the eyes of a tourist and find out just what you’re missing.

On another noteS

Last week, I addressed the issue of Frisco entering into a mini-drama thanks to the antics of the Save the Peninsula Coalition. I also questioned the small-town politics of an incident involving the mayor’s wife, who brought attention to the fact the coalition petitioners were soliciting for signatures on public property at the post office – an apparent federal no-no.

Frisco Mayor Bob Moscatelli responded to my column (see today’s letters to the editor) and I’m glad he had an opinion.

You see, being a mayor (or mayor’s wife or husband for that matter) in a small town can – at times – be torturous.

While I may not always agree with Mayor Bob or the decisions the council makes – including the decision not to bring the golf course question to a public vote – I do have respect for their public service.

And, I have no doubt Bonnie Moscatelli was doing what she thought was fair and just. That doesn’t mean I won’t challenge the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Bottom line, it’s my job to question decisions, incidents or other events that affect our readers. And, that’s what I did with last week’s column. I’m sure I’ll ruffle more feathers in the future.

Truth is, I have a soft spot for Mayor Bob. He’s straightforward and full of passion. (But don’t quote me on that.)

Whitney Childers is the editor of the Summit Daily News and may be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 227 or wchilders@summitdaily.com

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