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Caution Request

To the Editor:

I totally agree with Dr.Revely in the need for caution for the wellness center project and for a major market research study. Where has this concept proven successful in a venue similar to Estes Park? We are a family destination resort town, not a playground for the rich and famous like Vail or Aspen. Our shops and restaurants are moderate, not high end.

Because something is a good idea does not guarantee success. There is an eight building condo project at the end of Elkhorn that has lain unfinished for years; beautiful buildings and location, but never completed. (It certainly would be a great location for this project; buildings and parking already in place.)

What is the guarantee for funding for both projects? There will be major cost overruns and delays. What if there is another situation where truck travel is compromised? There could be more flooding or rockslides, but road repair delays are a given for the next year or more. Without being negative or looking for disaster, what is the cost overrun allowance?

What is the construction schedule? This is not a 3 month project. What is the exact timeframe needed?

The following is copied directly from page 44 of the staff reports for this project from the EP Sanitation District

“3. As discussed above, the development proposes to keep the existing sewer main in place. However the six inch service line that extends west across the Stanley Hotel property is no longer adequate for future development. The line will need to be replaced with eight inch PVC and manholes added before future demand is allowed. If the existing eight inch line through Lot 4 needs to be lowered to accommodate the eventual replacement of the six inch line, then it should be done prior to improvements taking place on Lot4.

4. There is some concern about the sewer mains downstream of Lot 4. The demand impact from Lot 4 and the Stanley Hotel property will be observed. We believe the ten inch line as it crosses US 34 is likely adequate for future development. We are less certain about the 15 inch line through the Visitors Center. The District will investigate capacity concerns and if necessary a capital expansion fee will be required of the Stanley properties.”

Is this written into the budget? What is the timeline? What will be the effect of all this construction on the Stanley business? People come to Estes for rest and relaxation not bulldozers and jackhammers.

Those of us with questions like these are not against economic development in the Estes valley. What we are concerned about is jumping into a project that looks good on paper but could also have disastrous consequences. Asking for details and funding guarantees for unexpected contingencies is not anti- progress, but common sense. Caution and actual market data where this concept has been successful in a resort community are needed before a truly rational decision can be made.

Maryanne Butler


© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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