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Breck planning for future generations

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BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. — All the ski towns and resort valleys of the West are fretting about the arrival of retiring Baby Boomers but without the muscles of the Gen X and Gen Y generations to keep things going.

In Breckenridge, this worry is reflected in goals being formulated by the town council for the next year: childcare and affordable housing.

"I think daycare and housing will trump things like recreation for the time being," said Eric Mamula, a council member. "We want to make sure that the people who make the community run can stay here."

The Summit Daily News reports that the more blunt explanation came from John Warner, a council member. "I don’t believe our youth feels like they’re welcomed back to our community," he said. "It’s too expensive. There’s no housing." Those factors, he added, lead to alienation and even to behavioral and emotional problems.

Another goal comes from another council member, Rob Milisore, who wants a revision of building codes to "really give builders a reason to go green." Another council member, Dave Rossi, adds environmental goals: discouraging light pollution and acquiring more dedicated open space. And Mayor Ernie Blake sees a need for a big-picture transportation plan that makes existing buses more efficient.

New convention centre plans

VAIL, Colo. — A major convention centre has been on the cusp in Vail for years. Now, only months after voters rejected a second increase in the lodging tax that was considered necessary to get a convention centre afloat, a private developer has emerged with a proposal. In addition to the conference centre, he plans two hotels, stores, and additional parking on the space of the existing 1,100-space Lionshead Parking Structure.

The Vail Daily reports that town officials have issued a request for proposals for redevelopment of the parking structure, which is now 25 years old. Part of the justification is that the parking structure will require upgrades at a cost of several million dollars within the next few years. The RFP is somewhat unusual, in that it was not preceded by a major public policy discussion, as would seem the normal sequence.

Several years ago, town voters had approved a lodging tax increase in order to build a convention centre. However, it was also understood that the tax would be abandoned if a decision was made not to go ahead with the convention centre. Later projections showed higher operating expenses than expected, and hence a greater subsidy. There was some fear the conference centre would end up being an albatross to the town.

Retail boat continues to rise

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