Eagle County Heath Insurance Costs – Going Down

by  the fans of   FREE MARKET CAPITALISM

Eagle County has suffered (and Pitkin County/Aspen) with the Highest Health Insurance Costs in the Nation.

Finally, our Health Insurance Costs here are going DOWN.


Because the MONOPOLY that the Vail Valley Medical Center has (read: Vail Hospital) is being broken.  Genuine, Market based Health Care competition in and near Eagle County’s geography was announced last week.

Who’s moving in?

National Healthcare provider – Kaiser Permanente announced last week they are opening a new Medical Office Building in Frisco, CO.  (Click On) the graphic below to read Kaiser’s Press Release.  Granted Frisco isn’t in Eagle County – however it’s a lot easier to drive to than…Denver.


Another Health Care Provider that will compete with Kaiser and the Vail Valley Medical Center – for Health Care services is moving into a brand new Medical Office Building (over 30,000 sq/ft.) located near to Jim Pavelich’s “North Side Café” in Avon, Colorado.  The new Medical Office Building is being built by Nexcore Group and they broke ground last week – June 9th 2015.  The new Building is scheduled to be fully operational for new Medical Services – by June 2016.


THE BOTTOM LINE:   Once these new Healthcare providers are operational – Everyone in Eagle County that pays for Health Insurance can expect to pay less in the months and years to come.  VVMC will have to compete.

Eagle County reported to the ECT last week – that the County is spending at least $1 Million dollars more on their Budgeted Health Insurance costs – that what was originally Budgeted this year…(Click Here – Randy Wyrick)

It is reasonable to believe… that our Eagle County Public School District (a larger employer than Eagle County!) is having similar challenges with their Health Insurance Budget and Costs as well…

KEEP IN MIND – Eagle County Taxpayer – if you pay Property Taxes to the School District and Sales Taxes to our County…your Tax Money has to cover THEIR Healthcare costs – as well as paying for your own Healthcare too!

This is exactly why these (2) new Healthcare providers is such a BIG DEAL to everyone who lives in Eagle County.

These reduced Insurance costs won’t happen over night…however it’s clear that the Vail Valley Medical Center’s Healthcare monopoly is being broken!

And that is good news for all of us!

Vail Valley Medical Center’s – Untold Story

by    the Fans of Bass Reeves

Why doesn’t the Vail Valley Medical Center (read: the Vail Hospital) want you to know the complete story?

VVMC and the Fishwrap have teamed up – to pay for and provide you with “all” the information they believe YOU should know.  The problem is…with what they’re determined NOT to tell you.

The folks here at the EagleCountyTimes.com believe you need to know MORE about the Vail Valley Medical Center – than what they want you to know about.

Let’s Begin.

1 – VVMC pays the Fishwrap to run color Print Ads like this (this from the week of June 9th 2015)


Item 2 – Fifty years of providing Medical Services?  Yes.  However, 50 years ago the Vail Hospital wasn’t responsible for the Highest Health Insurance costs in the Nation – however today – they are!  (Click Here)

Item 3 – Vail Resorts has dropped Healthcare Insurance coverage and costs (for their part time/seasonal) employees…no doubt – due in a large part to the costs to VR to provide that Part Time Employee Health benefit.  (Click Here)

Item 4 – The Vail Valley Medical Center is legally organized and run as a “Non-Profit”.  So for the past 50 years and (today) including all their Vail owned Real Estate (and in Edwards and elsewhere) VVMC has NEVER PAID any PROPERTY TAXES!  EVER!  We all know that the majority of the Property Taxes we pay here in Eagle County – go into our Eagle County Public School District.

Q.)  How many Millions of Dollars (over 50 years) has VVMC – NOT PAID our Public School District?

Item 5 –  So where is all that $$$ going if it’s not being paid as Property Taxes?

Answer:  ECT suggests you (Click Here) to read a PDF copy of VVMC’s recent Federal Tax Return (Form 990) – which is a Public Record document – since VVMC is a “non-Profit”.  ECT recommends you check out these PDF page(s) for a list of some of the annual Salaries that VVMC’s CEO and top Administrators are being paid.

Item 6 – Speaking of being Paid…is there any doubt that the amount of color – Paid Print Advertising VVMC buys from the Fishwrap – is the #1 reason the Fishwrap WON’T REPORT any of these above, well documented facts – to their Fishwrap readers?

One more Point:  The ECT folks would like to thank the excellent, hard working Medical Professionals that provide our Eagle County with top flight Health Care Services at VVMC!  You folks are exceptional and great!

The ECT concerns outlined above are directed exclusively at VVMC’s CEO, CFO and the Hospital’s Board of Directors.

From the Street

Vail’s Hot Summer Nights – got off to an Expensive first start last Tuesday, June 9th 2015.  Admission to the event in Vail’s Ford Amphitheater is still Free, however…

After about (2) decades of being the main event sponsor – Budweiser was replaced (by the Vail Valley Foundation) this year with local “Crazy Mountain Brewery” as their title sponsor.

What was “Crazy” to the observant ECT folks was the amount of “Crazy Mountain” beverages NOT being consumed that first Tuesday night.  Tuesday evening’s weather was certainly accommodating enough, but the PRICES for a drink are SKY HIGH.

Example:  Two typical sized mixed drinks – came to $17.00 before you tipped your Hot Summer Nights bar tender…


Also – the gates at the Ford Pavilion opened earlier at 4:30PM this year.  (3) of Vail PD’s Finest were also on hand to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves inside the legal limits of consumption.  Something to think about if you plan to attend next week starting at 4:30PM…and the free Music starts around 6:30PM.

ECT’s advise?   Bring your designated driver with you – and a big wad of Cash…

Summer’s Weather – Still delayed in Eagle County!

by  the fans of NOAA and NWS

Dateline:  Sunday, May 31st 2015    Well the ECT folks took advantage of last Saturday’s Sunny Weather and got in a few photos in of the Vail Golf Course.  The watering bill for the Vail Golf Course has to be less than it was this time last year!


A Bit Higher Up – reports received at the ECT this week INSIST the top 1/3rd of Vail Mountain is still very Skiable!  Below is our photo we call “half of a half pipe”!


Also on tap this week is “Shooting the Chute”  Whether you’re a Kayaker or a Photographer – no doubt about it.  Dowd Junction is ready to “Shoot”.


Just "who" means Business?

by   the real fans of Eagle County’s Private Sector

Just “who” means business in Eagle County, Colorado today?

Let’s have a look at the (documented) biggest employers (2011) from the Vail Valley’s latest web site (www.VailValleyMeansBusiness.com) – brought to you by the nice folks at the Vail Valley Partnership (Click Here).

Employer Number of Employees Notes and Industry Sector
Vail Resorts >1500 Most Jobs Seasonal.  No Seasonal Jobs come with Health Insurance now.  (Click Here)
Eagle County Public School District <1000 99% Supported and Funded by Annual Property Taxes.
Vail Valley Medical Center 500-1000 For all the Private Property in Vail (and elsewhere) that VVMC owns – the Vail Hospital pays NO PROPERTY TAXES since the Vail Hospital is organized as “Non-Profit”
Eagle County Government 400-500 100% Supported by Sales Taxes and Property Taxes paid by Individuals and all of Eagle County’s Private Sector
Vail Cascade 300-400 Private Sector with a large percentage of Seasonal Jobs.
Ritz Carlton Hotel 300-400 Private Sector with a large percentage of Seasonal Jobs.
Wal~Mart 300-400 Private Sector with a large number of Part Time Jobs.  Sales Tax paid at our Avon Wal~Mart are now higher than in Beaver Creek 9.549%  (Click Here)
Sonnenalp Resort 200-300 Private Sector with a large percentage of Seasonal Jobs.
Town of Vail 200-300 100% Supported by Sales Taxes and Property Taxes paid by Individuals and Vail’s Private Sector businesses
Vail Marriott 200-300 Private Sector with a large percentage of Seasonal Jobs.

Are Sales and Property Taxes TOO HIGH in Eagle County Colorado today?

Answer:  Let’s compare the number of Government Sector Jobs in Eagle County (funded by all those Taxes we pay) vs. our real Private Sector.  Keep in Mind, without all those Sales and Property and Income Taxes you pay in Eagle County – these Government Jobs – would not be possible.

Government Jobs in Eagle County Listed Here

(How do I Tax Thee?  Let me count the ways.)

– Town of Gypsum, Gypsum Fire Department

– Eagle County Regional Airport now featuring Paid Parking (the Airport has it’s own Fire Department too)

– Town of Eagle, Eagle Fire Department, Eagle Police Department

– Eagle County Government (Health and Human Services, Treasurer, Assessor, Clerk and Recorder..there are 36 Departments listed on the County’s web site)

– Eagle Combined Courts – (County & 5th Judicial District)

– Eagle County Sheriff’s Office & Jail  (how many folks work there?)

– Town of Avon,  Avon Police Department

– Eagle River Fire Protection District (funded by Property Taxes)

– Beaver Creek Metro District – and their own BC Fire Department

– Town of Minturn and the Town of Red Cliff

– Town of Vail.  Vail Fire Department.  Vail Police Department. Vail Rec Department.  Vail Code Enforcement.  Eagle County’s E911 Emergency Dispatch Facility in Vail.

– Eagle Valley Library District (funded by Property Taxes)

– Eagle County Public School District (all their jobs funded by Property Taxes)

– Colorado Mountain College (funded by Property Taxes)

– Quasi-Governmental   Our Water District(s) &  Ambulance District(s)

– U.S. Forest Service Jobs as well as Colorado’s Fish and Wildlife Jobs

– Colorado Water and Conservation District

– Colorado Department of Transportation – Rte. 6 and I-70 Maintenance

RETT  Real Estate Transfer Taxes you pay when you buy your home and again when you sell it

Are you still wondering why the Vail Valley Medical Center/Vail Hospital prefers to beEmpty-Wallet organized as a local “non-profit” so they can (at least) escape paying Property Taxes on all their Vail Real Estate they own (and own elsewhere)?

The ECT hasn’t even counted our Towns of Basalt and El Jebel!

Considering all this Eagle County Confiscatory Taxation (Sales, Property, Income) why would any new Private Sector Business want to “open up shop” in Eagle County today?

Here’s One:  NexCore Group (Click Here)   They specialize in building Medical Office Buildings – and have their new Avon Medical Office Building Approved and Construction will start the week of June 8th 2015.

Why did NexCore choose Eagle County?  In part because Eagle County’s citizens pay the Highest Health Insurance costs in the United States.  (Click Here)  That’s why.

The next time someone tries to convince you that “Eagle County Means Business” you’d better tell them to start reading the Eagle County Times…and hold on to their Wallets.

All these Government Jobs and Agencies have but ONE WAY to Grow.  Through additional Confiscatory Taxation levied against the very individuals they purport to serve…Time to wake up folks.


Drugs in Gypsum

by  Anthony Cotton at the Denver Post

Far be it for our Daily Fishwrap…to actually inform folks about what is going on in our Eagle County, Colorado.

Fortunately we have Anthony Cotton at the Denver Post helping us to stay informed.  Anthony first posted his story on Friday, May 29th 2015 – at about 8PM.  Just click on the story below to go to the Denver Post.


Memorial Day 2015 – Indoors – Eagle County, Colorado

by   the fans of our Service Men and Women!

A wise last minute decision by Master of Ceremonies – Ms. Pat Hammon today to move Eagle County’s Memorial Day Service indoors.  Our Afternoon weather remaining as unpredictable as ever.  The Ceremony moved inside the WECMRD Field House in Edwards, from the planned event at Freedom Park – just outside the Field House.

This years event was very well attended including Eagle County Commissioner – Kathy Chandler-Henry, the only Commissioner the ECT noticed at the event…

Pat Hammond proudly announced that Eagle Valley High School (Gypsum) HAS TWO Graduates headed to Annapolis, Maryland to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.  Both Ben Witt and Natalie Morrissey won’t be waiting till this Fall.  They will begin their training and duties as new Plebes (Click Here) at the Academy this Summer 2015.

The Sights and Sounds of Memorial Day 2015 – Eagle County style!

Here is Pat Hammon assisting the Battle Mountain High School Band – singing our National Anthem!


ECT Loves our Big, Beautiful, American Flag inside the Edwards Field




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