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Vail digs Dallas, but not Denver Nuggets-bashing Mavs owner Mark Cuban
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Courtesy of John_Guadio/Flickr 

Vail digs Dallas, but not Denver Nuggets-bashing Mavs owner Mark Cuban

By David O. Williams

May 13, 2009 —  Just to be clear, Coloradans for the most part don’t hate Texans. Just Mark Cuban.

The crazed Dallas Mavericks tech geek turned riot-inciting rogue owner really isn’t even a Texan. According to Wiki, Cuban (former family name Chabenisky) moved from Pennsylvania to Dallas in 1982, where he founded MicroSolutions and Broadcast.com and made billions during the dot-com boom.

One of his biggest clients during his MicroSolutions software-selling days was Perot Systems, founded and now run by some true Texans that most Coloradans, especially Vailites, actually like: the Perot family.

Ross Perot almost carried Eagle County back in the 90s when he ran as an independent in the presidential election, and they still own property in the Vail Valley.

What’s the connection to Cuban beyond software? The Perots sold the Mavs to Marky Mark, and it’s really hard to imagine them standing courtside and screaming at Kenyon Martin’s mom, Lydia Moore, or inciting the crowd to the point of hurling racial slurs at Carmelo Anthony’s fiancÚ, LaLa Vazquez, the way Cuban did Monday during Game 4 between the Denver Nuggets and Dallas Mavericks in Dallas.

Dallas is the third largest destination market for Vail, but Colorado has always had a love-hate relationship with Texans. Some people love their money, but hate their outsized personalities. I’m not one of those people. I think Texans are some of the friendliest folks who visit or own homes in the valley.

They’re far more polite, gracious and sociable than New Yorkers, our No. 1 market, but we’re not playing the Knicks in the NBA semifinals, and likely won’t see them in the playoffs until they sign LeBron James away from the Cleveland Cavaliers.

My point is that most of us in Vail, and Colorado in general, don’t hold Cuban’s behavior, or the behavior of a few out-of-control fans, against the entire state. And we urge the utmost restraint from Nuggets fans in tonight’s Game 5 at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

Don’t be like the idiot who threw beer on the court during the New Orleans series in Denver. Show come class and be glad your team has finally grown a defensive backbone.

As for our relationship with Texans, bear in mind that the founding fathers of some of Colorado’s greatest ski resorts, Vail included, were funded by oil money. I’ll leave the irony of what the burning of fossil fuels may or may not be doing to the future of the ski industry for another blog, but suffice to say we wouldn’t be here without Texas money.

And one of the O. Report’s favorite proposed projects in the Vail Valley -- albeit one seriously stymied by the recession, lack of buyers and a Vail Resorts’ deed restriction on the town-owned property -- is the redevelopment of the Lionshead Parking Structure by Texan Mark Masinter, who, not coincidentally, is backed on that project by Ross Perot Jr.

Masinter also has other grand plans such as a new ice arena that would house a minor league hockey team. Knowing Masinter (a Mark of a different stripe), we highly doubt he would stoop to the stunts as a hockey owner that Cuban is pulling in Dallas these days.

It should also be noted that Masinter was part of the team that developed American Airlines Arena and all the Victory Park real estate around it in downtown Dallas – a mixed-use revitalization project spearheaded by Perot that had until recently drawn considerable praise.

But in another sign of the times, reports late last month from the German edition of The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal indicate Perot's Hillwood development company is forfeiting its equity in the project because sales have completely stalled. Not a good sign for Masinter's Vail project.

Regardless, Vail appreciates that spirit of innovation and competition, not the cartoon-character antics of Cuban. Not sure if he even skis, but if he does, he should head to Aspen.

 

 

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