Karen Vail: How much is enough?
I have just had another harrowing trip through town, with cars pulling out in front of me, running stop signs and turning left from a right lane. I have never felt so flustered and have used all my powers of deep breathing to not explode at the amount of, and insanity of, traffic in the valley. It is time for us to really start asking the community, “What is an acceptable level of tourism that supports our growing business base but does not degrade the health and beauty of our valley?”
We do not need to, and should not, close the door to visitors and new residents. But it is now time to really look at our growth and how we might support all aspects of this in a healthier way than the unlimited activities every weekend throughout the summer.
The numbers of visitors straining an already strained infrastructure can make us all irritable, and that does not put a good face forward. Visitors through the years have extolled the laid back and friendly locals they encounter. I have been talking with very disgruntled locals all summer.
Steamboat is an amazing valley, a place I am proud to have grown up in. Let’s keep the Steamboat magic going. I believe that begins with toning down the number of summer events and being more realistic with our marketing.
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