Breckenridge and Vail Resorts reached a crappy agreement this week on a ballot measure that would hike the cost of lift tickets to pay for
plowing existing parking lots construction of a new parking structure.
Only in Breckenridge is a proposed tax hike on skiing celebrated as the greatest thing ever to occur in the town’s history.
“It’s a historic event for the town,” said Jerry Dziedzic, a resident representing a committee formed in support of the tax, on Wednesday. “This is a town that’s been making history for more than 150 years, and it’s done it again.”
Someone get McGraw-Hill Publishing on the phone and let’s get this deal in the history books!
But seriously, here’s how the pooch screwing will go down. Locals are more likely to approve the 4.5 percent tax now, because it seemingly is only a tourist tax that won’t apply to those not living in the high country.
In other words, season passes, multi-resort lift tickets and summer activities are excluded, and the tax only affects single and multi-day passes, for now.
Here’s the catch — Vail has guaranteed Breckenridge that the town will get at minimum $3.5 million a year, even if Vail has to make up the difference out of its own pocket. In flush years, Vail gets to keep the change to make up for it.
However, and this is the big however, Vail’s guaranteed payment goes out the window if Breckenridge decides down the road they would rather just go ahead and tax more “ski area activities or admissions.”
So the scam is, locals will vote for the tax thinking it won’t affect them, until a future date when the council changes their mind and decides that it should really apply to all tickets, including those treasured season passes.