Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Maybe we’re all in a movie.

It certainly appears that Donald thinks his life is one big movie and we are all pipsqueak extras. In the movies you kill the bad guy and the good guy always wins. Donald is just playing to type. We’ll see how that turns out because for the good guy to win in the movies there are always plot twists and drama. Donald thrives in drama.

Locally, the drama centers on relationships and the fear that the Crested Butte culture is dying. The “Empty House Tax” proposal brought scenes of conflict, as the council has heard a ton of feedback. Council member Mona Merrill said Monday she has heard a lot of negative feedback because people fear the concept of singling out second homeowners for a tax is divisive. Council member Will Dujardin said he has heard almost entirely positive feedback from his constituents that the tax is a fabulous way to raise revenues to pay for more affordable housing in town and projects that mitigate climate change. They are in the same movie but apparently different scenes—or just viewing the scene from slightly different camera angles. We’ll see what makes the final cut.

Up in Mt. Crested Butte the council is in its own movie. They are being asked to partner with a private developer who wants to basically leave a legacy development at the base of Snodgrass that addresses a lot of local issues. Workforce housing could be phased in. Trails and open space would be part of the scene. Density is pretty low. How that movie plays out is still up in the air as the council has a lot of information to process before committing to a decision, but if they decide to pull the trigger on the proposed partnership, things could move relatively quickly and good things could come to fruition. A local movie with a smooth and happy ending? Oh boy.

There are always the side stories in the Crested Butte movie. There’s Big Blue and its subplot of how the expanded Center for the Arts is doing both internally with its finances and externally with its non-profit partners. Ahhh, intrigue.

There’s the on-again, off-again romance between two longtime frenemies, the north and the south ends of the valley. Civil war or love affair? That relationship is always good for a side story or two that may or may not blow up to a central plot line. It keeps people on the edge of their seats.

There is the never-ending Crested Butte annexation plot that seems to be almost complete but is almost always extended. It’s already gone through pre-annexation agreements but because of the requirement for more meetings, there is the illusion things can change dramatically—but it can’t. It’s in the movie to give everyone a chance to leave their seats in the theater to go to the bathroom.

Of course the dramatic music always indicates the presence of the big bad corporate villain that is draining the cool from the last great ski town. That plot almost always hovers as a background story in every scene to bring unusual characters together to save the culture of a weird community.

Meanwhile up on the hill the actors are all waiting for the giant snowstorm that people in the Midwest see as a horror movie and we embrace as the ultimate adventure flick. Well, the good news is that the last time Diane and I left here for a January trip it started snowing as we drove out of the valley and continued every minute until we returned from the beach two weeks later, leaving feet and feet of snow in its wake. Get ready for the sequel? Maybe. We are leaving at the end of the week for another overseas holiday (not as long) so Crested Butte may again be in luck and the forecast is actually calling for … snow. We should be paid A-list money to go away in January.

Anyway, people always say Crested Butte is its own soap opera. Fair. This year we can take Donald’s lead and look at it as a big-screen movie. No one knows how the movie will end and what interesting twists and turns will show up but we have to admit that the setting is always good and the film usually worth watching. Whether that holds true for Donald’s movie, we’ll see soon enough. Boom.

Enjoy the snow.

—Mark Reaman

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