Letter: Please, don’t come up to the mountains right now | SkyHiNews.com
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Letter: Please, don’t come up to the mountains right now

Dear second homeowners and vacation renters, shelter in place literally means shelter in place. It does not mean shelter in place here and then shelter in place there. The way we slow down COVID is to minimize clusters of the virus. Right now, as far as we know, Grand County is not a cluster, but every time you drive over Berthoud Pass or to Summit County that becomes less likely. Being on the Front Range during the week and coming to your second home on the weekend is unnecessary travel.

I understand that you have worked hard to have your second home and you love the valley. I can hardly blame you for wanting to seek asylum in a cabin in the mountains. That’s why we all live here.

One thing to consider is that while our town has grown considerably over the 28 years that I have lived here, the health care system has not expanded proportionally. While the health care system is incredible and we are very fortunate, it is akin to how our restaurants have extended wait times and the workers are run ragged to accommodate the influx of people over busy holidays and weekends. We are stretched to capacity just by you being here.

I do not have the mindset that I was here first and so I should close the door behind me. I welcome you. My family owns an asphalt maintenance business and is incredibly grateful for the growth of the valley. Some locals are very unwelcoming and for that I am sorry. They can move elsewhere and don’t have the right to tell you you are unable to be a part of our community. Some tourists are disrespectful and rude, and so both sides are to blame on the animosity. You have boosted our economy and given many of us jobs, so thank you. However, during this time, please consider our delicate community and the importance of keeping us isolated. We will welcome you with open arms when this settles and be able to continue to provide excellent health care and services. 

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To the people renting Airbnbs or VRBOs and coming here on weekends to vacation: please leave. Your reckless skiing/snowmobiling is the opposite of considerate to our health care system. Your strain on our grocery stores further weakens our community.

I am an ER nurse up here and am isolating myself from my family after work because I don’t want to expose them. You can be okay with not skiing and snowmobiling for a few weeks. And your simply being here on “vacation” is the opposite of what Gov. Polis ordered! If you own a vacation rental, please take it off the market for now. Thank you.

— Brady Kilgallen, Tabernash


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