Summit Daily letters: Visitor won’t return to Breckenridge over pricey parking
Good-bye Breck. Hello Vail.
We have enjoyed staying a month of our summer in Breckenridge the last few years. However, last Saturday ruined the Breck experience for us. We headed to town for some shopping and a late lunch only to find a parking nightmare. There were new pay-to-park signs everywhere and nothing to let us know what the price would be. (It must be so high it would embarrass the town and discourage business.)
Then we found you could only use the gondola lot if you were going to buy something or pay to park. This left the gondola lot only half full. The other available spots were for employees only and those areas were only half full.
The only remaining free parking area was jammed full with frustrated drivers circling waiting for someone to leave. The impact of such a greedy, unfriendy parking scheme has been to make us swear off of shopping or eating in Breck, even after 3 p.m. We’ll just make the drive to Frisco, Dillon or Vail where the parking is still free in the summer. I doubt we’ll be back next summer.
The rules apply to everyone — even big-spending tourists
Mr. Justin Stilley does a pathetic job at attempting to justify his encroachment within a “no trespassing” area in Blue River and then being cited and presented with a ticket. I am guessing that if hundreds of people did just what his family did, there would be no wildflowers or other ground cover remaining in that area, having been trampled by all of those who simply wanted that perfect photo op.
No, Mr. Stilley, you don’t deserve a pass simply because you chose to ignore a sign, to which you readily admit. And what kind of example are you setting for your children.“That’s okay, kids, we get to flaunt the law because our family is special.” No, your family is not special. You get to abide by the same rules and regulations as everyone else. Whether walking your dog on leash while in the backcountry, or abiding by trail rules when mountain biking or hiking, those rules are in place for a reason.
I hope Mr. Stilley’s family continues to visit and enjoy Summit County, and I am glad that they otherwise had a great time. But we appreciate what we have here. Think of not just what you want to do, but the impact of tens of thousands of other annual visitors who might want to do something similar. Finally, you might want to consider setting a good example for your children.
Charles D. Pitman
Not flat enough for Dillon
There was a notice in the Summit Daily News on Aug. 9, regarding the Dillon Flats Condo Project proposed for the corner of Main Street and LaBonte Street. In part, it said:
“A group of homeowners is objecting on the grounds that it would block their views of the mountains and Lake Dillon.” This is true. The impact on those homeowners, financially and emotionally, is huge, and must be taken in account.
However, there is an even larger group of homeowners, guests and visitors who believe buildings of this height are not appropriate anywhere in the Dillon Town Core, south of Buffalo Street. These buildings affect the views of everyone who visits this town. They destroy the character and the feel of an open, genuine mountain town. This would not be allowed along Breckenridge or Frisco’s Main Street area, and it should not be allowed in the heart of Dillon.
We expressed these views to the Dillon Town Council at the Community Chat on Aug. 9. They listened attentively, and there were good, serious conversations between residents and council members. We thank the council members for their time.
We know that we have a lot of work ahead of us to improve Dillon. We support development, and revitalization of the town core, but we believe that the height of this project is unwise. It will make a negligible contribution to the town’s population, but will seriously damage our image and our potential to build a town that is welcoming and attractive to residents and visitors.
We need the housing
I was disheartened to read a letter from a Dillon resident bemoaning the planned condo development at the corner of La Bonte and Main. The writer would do well to remember that Summit County is facing an acute housing shortage and without substantial investments in the housing stock many more low-income residents will be forced to move away.
The writer’s primary concern seems to be that the planned building will encroach on his view and potentially lower his property value. How starkly his situation contrasts that faced by the county’s most vulnerable, whose struggle to secure housing should be of deep concern, more so especially than the quality of the views of a fortunate few. The reality is that this type of NIMBYism only serves to preserve the privileges of the well-to-do at the expense of the less fortunate, driving up the cost of housing by artificially restricting supply.
The development in question is a step in the right direction. It may be just 24 units, but it’s 24 closer to the 1,685 needed by 2020, as cited by this very newspaper. It should also be noted that the site under consideration is by no means a pristine wilderness, but rather a vacant lot in the center of Dillon within spitting distance of similarly sized buildings.
The residents and leaders of Summit County will have to make some tough choices in the coming years, and while it is important to balance the needs of a growing population with preserving its character, what character will there be left to preserve when only the most wealthy can afford to live here?
Appreciating our paved paths
We recently returned to Summit County after five days of biking in the Durango area. This entailed quite a bit of time on roads with decent shoulders, no shoulders, sometimes broken pavement, 65-mile-an-hour speed limits, and lots of traffic. Today I rode the fantastic paved paths in Summit County and I felt such gratitude for our paths and our fabulous scenery. This letter is really just a big “thank you” to the county for continuing to maintain and improve the path system. Any improvement, repaving or smoothing out is deeply appreciated. It would be great if we could get all users of the recreational path system to be polite and announce they are passing, but that’s a subject for another letter.
Frisco and Denver
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