Summit County Council Foresees Tough Winter

Oct 5, 2020

Credit Summit County

Summit County Council Members, like many other community leaders, are bracing for their first full winter with a pandemic.

As Council Member Glenn Wright notes, they aren’t optimistic.  

Wright told KPCW that everybody thinks the winter season is going to be grim financially.       

“We don’t expect massive pick-ups in sales tax revenues until there’s any type of vaccine, and a good portion of the population’s vaccinated.  I’ve seen—this is just my own opinion-I’ve seen some estimates that airline traffic is gonna be no more than 30-50 percent, maximum, of what it has been in the past.  And that kinda tracks where our destination visitors are coming from.  That’s my personal crystal ball.”

Vail Resorts is reporting an increase in their Epic Pass sales.  Wright said they’ll just have to see what happens.       

“I have an Epic Pass.   And what I get from them is that they’re gonna be limiting attendance at the resorts every day.  So I still think we’re gonna have a down year.  We’re gonna have to see.  If it’s better than we’re thinking, than life is good.”

In the meantime, Wright and colleague Kim Carson sit on the county’s debt subcommittee.    They will consider if it’s time to look at bonding.        

“Interest rates are incredibly low.  We have some building needs for the future.  And if we’re gonna do it, now is the time.   And one of our discussions entailed, well how do we structure the debt, so it doesn’t hit us heavily in the first couple of years of the bond.  With a bond that’s gonna be finished with its redemption period in the next year or two, I think we could probably do a significant bond, and not have it a net decrease to the cash flow.  And that will be our goal.”

Summit County Council Member Glenn Wright, who added the sub-committee will hold another meeting before taking their recommendations to the full County Council.