Letter to the editor: Time for ski areas to step up with housing | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Time for ski areas to step up with housing

Chris Dorton

My hat is off to Chuck Savall and his wonderfully articulated letter to the editor regarding ski area responsibility. Chuck’s key point was Vail Resorts has earmarked for future high-priced development at ski area bases as they pass off employee housing problems to the taxpayers.

I have often marveled at the predictable trumpeting of “improvement of the guest experience” at the beginning of each new season. See the recent Summit Daily News article with all the ski area executives listing all the new goodies for this ski season. There’s been an endless procession of new lifts, terrain, coasters, disc golf, adventure parks, aerial tree and rock climbing and summer amenities. All of these require more people to service them. Who’s going to house them? The resort areas’ attitude seems to be, “Our job is to provide recreational options and where the employees live isn’t our problem.” It needs to be made their problem.

I propose a moratorium — there’s that word again — on all resort area expansion that doesn’t include a concrete proposal to house all additional workers the project requires without exceptions.

Multibillion-dollar corporations have been sponging off Summit County taxpayers in this manner for decades. It’s time to end this corporate gravy train. The buck stops on the desk of the resort CEO.

What say you Summit County government, Forest Service, and town managers and councils? Will it be more “build it and they will come” and the consequences be damned, or will there be shared responsibility? Do you want to make a real dent in the “housing crisis” or rubber stamp the next expansion as usual?

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