Vail’s Annual Community Meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 at Donovan Pavilion will be headlined by a celebration recognizing noted water attorney Glenn Porzak as the recipient of the annual Trailblazer Award as well as a look back on accomplishments from 2018, an update on new initiatives and a tribute to fire Lt. Scott Bridges who is recovering from injuries he sustained while helping at an accident scene on his way to work.
Full-time and part-time residents, business owners, property owners, employees and others interested in joining in the celebration are encouraged to attend. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. with informational displays on a variety of topics of community interest as well as opportunities to connect with friends and neighbors; presentations will begin at 5:30 p.m. New this year, attendees will be invited to sign up for a drawing to win a season parking pass for next winter.
The annual gathering is hosted by the Vail Town Council and town staff and will include a video narrated by town council members describing the town’s progress on a number of important topics, including housing, sustainability, parking and an elevated partnership with the leadership team at Vail Mountain. A tribute to fire Lt. Scott Bridges, who began his career with Vail Fire and Emergency Services 20 years ago, will be offered by Chief Mark Novak. Community members will have an opportunity to show their support for Lt. Bridges and his family by signing a giant card to share well-wishes and encouragement. Bridges was off-duty when he was injured on March 1.
In addition to updates on the town’s financial health and various planning initiatives taking place, the event will honor Porzak’s achievements as a water rights attorney and his selection as the fourth recipient of the Vail Trailblazer Award. An ongoing fixture in the Vail community since the 1970s, Porzak has worked tirelessly to advance and protect water rights for Vail and the Western Slope, participating in over 120 water court trials and over 30 Colorado Supreme Court appeals throughout his career.
The program will also include remarks from Vail Mayor Dave Chapin, Town Manager Greg Clifton, Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer Doug Lovell and introduction of Beaver Creek COO Beth Howard who will transition into the role as Vail Mountain COO upon Lovell’s retirement at the end of the season.
Representatives from other partner agencies will be in attendance including Colorado Department of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service, Vail Recreation District and Eagle River Water & Sanitation District.
Project updates will be presented in an open house format on topics including the Civic Area Master Plan, wildlife mitigation, short-term rental regulations, Vail InDEED, Slifer Plaza fountain reconstruction, wildfire protection, West Vail Master Plan and the I-70 West Vail Pass auxiliary lane project. In addition, the Vail Public Library will have a display of commemorative 35th anniversary memorabilia as part of its ongoing celebration of library services in their current location.
Community members in attendance will be eligible to participate in a drawing for a free Blue parking pass for the 2019-2020 winter season, a value of $1,250. The drawing will take place immediately following the presentations. Participants must be present to win and restrictions will apply.
“We’ve had a tremendous year on many fronts and much to be proud of across the community,” said Mayor Dave Chapin. “Our priorities have been leveraged like never before as a result of bold new partnerships involving commitments and investments from the public and private sectors. It’s truly an honor to celebrate these successes with the people who’ve help made it happen – our citizens – and to recognize our Trailblazer recipient.”
This is the 19th consecutive year for the annual Community Meeting. Parking is free and light refreshments will be served. The meeting will be recorded by High Five Access Media and will be replayed on Comcast Channel 5. For more information, contact the town’s community information office at 970-479-2115.