If a small and frail or shrinking tourist sector is desirable, then do you believe ongoing dependence on real estate sales and construction, which has been the foundation of our economy for the last thirty years, is also desirable?
You argue that tourist-related development creates a need for workers, and therefore produces too much growth. Do you believe it has a greater environmental impact than second home development?
Absent tourists, do you believe that second homeowners and full-time residents can support our retail businesses and restaurants? If not and we have fewer retail businesses and restaurants, then which are your choices to go out of business first?
With few tourists, we have anemic sales tax revenues, forcing us to depend on property taxes and real estate transfer taxes to pay for municipal services. Do you think this is healthy?
We recently floated $20 million in bonds to buy the Valley Floor. If real estate sales were to drop – which is probably inevitable someday, if it isn’t already upon us – the town will have drastically less in real estate transfer tax revenues. In order for the town to meet its obligations, services would have to be cut or property taxes would have to be increased.
If the choice is to cut services, which town services would you propose cutting first? Are you OK with the fact that the town doesn’t have the money to fix the Hwy. 145 Spur or the failing water main under Colorado Ave?
Under Colorado law, property tax increases hit commercial properties three times harder than residential properties. So a tax increase would put still additional pressure on our already-struggling retail and restaurant and lodging businesses, putting them at risk of failure, which would, in turn, produce still less in sales tax revenues to the town.
With fewer businesses, the town could be less attractive to visitors, second homeowners and full-time residents alike, further depressing sales tax revenues.
Are you not concerned about this sort of downward spiral in our economy? If not, why not?
When you travel, what kind of hotel do you like to stay in? Do you believe that Telluride and Mountain Village have the sort of accommodations that today’s traveler favors?
If you oppose tourist-related development, how do you make your living here? If you don’t work, how do you survive? If you work, is your employer doing well? Would you prefer a community of trust funders and the independently wealthy over a town of functioning businesses?
If the Lift 7 area is not a suitable location for tourist related development, then is there anyplace in Telluride that is suitable for it?
Do you believe the concept of “sustainability” encompasses economic vitality?
Ideally, what would you like to see as the foundation of our economy?
Since you aren’t concerned about sales tax revenues, do you feel it’s healthy for Telluride to depend on real estate transfer taxes? If so, are you planning to sell your home (which would generate RETT, and help pay for the Valley Floor)? If not, which of your neighbors would you like to see sell their homes? If we are committed to RETT, are you OK with the idea of constant turnover of housing in Telluride as a way of paying for the Valley Floor and meeting our other obligations?
You argue that the Lift 7 area is better suited to community uses, like housing, than hotels, but without tourists, how do you propose we pay for that housing, or day care, or whatever?
If not tourists, what? If not Lift 7, where? If not now, when?