Mountain News: Albertans, residents trade barbs in Invermere 

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Minger told the Steamboat Pilot & Today that he is not offended by fears in Steamboat that it will become like Vail. There are fair criticisms of the growth of Vail, and that both Aspen and Vail failed to address community housing and transportation soon enough.

But he said that as Steamboat grows, it is crucial that the community articulate its desires. Too often, he said, communities get stuck on seeing what they don’t want to be, without articulating what they want to be.

He sees a fine future for Steamboat. “This hand-wringing is a healthy sign,” said Minger, who also had a hand in developing Whistler and now is involved in development of a major project in Canmore.

But he doesn’t detect the same level of zeal in Vail, and that worries him. Vail, he explained, has too large a proportion of the population who don’t stay long, or don’t vote because they are only temporary residents. “You erode your democracy a little bit,” Minger said. “I worry about Vail.”

Minger said Steamboat will fail only if it lets growth run rampant or tries to shut off growth entirely.

Also speaking at the session was Harry Frampton, managing principal in Beaver Creek-based East West Partners, and who is involved with development in several mountain resort areas, including Vail, Park City, and Truckee-Tahoe, plus Breckenridge and, for a brief time, Steamboat Springs.


Vail holding its own

VAIL, Colo. –Vail’s International Dance Festival ended last weekend, and again there was broad acclaim. The dance troupe was a new one called Morphose, which connoisseurs of dance likened to something of a dream team — if one that seems not to have practiced together.

Since its founding in 1962, Vail has been better known for its brawn than its brains. Aspen, in contrast, had its feet anchored firmly both in high-brow culture and skiing since its post World War II reinvention as a resort.

Yet without diminishing the cultural offerings of Aspen-Snowmass, which even now remains more intellectual and cutting edge, Vail now holds its own — and, as in the case of the summer dance and classical-music festival, then some.

This transition has occurred during the last 20 years. First, a partial canopy at Ford Amphitheater was replaced, one of several multi-million-dollar improvements in the key summer venue. Despite the occasional bleat from nearby Interstate 70, some fine-arts critics have called it possibly the best outdoor performing venue in Colorado.

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