There has been a lot of discussion and rhetoric in the media lately about the proposed casino development in Hayden. I have my opinion about the project, but that is not what this letter is about.
I am writing this letter to address the mean-spirited tone that some of the letters to the editor have taken, particularly toward Johnny Spillane. Johnny is a very good friend of mine. He is one of the most humble, kind-hearted people I have ever known. He is a wonderful father and husband, a great friend, and he has been an inspiration to so many of Steamboat’s youth. As an accomplished Olympian, he has given extremely generously of his time for many charitable organizations and events in Steamboat and throughout Colorado. He loves Steamboat as much, if not more, than anyone who has voiced their opinions regarding the casino project. If you have ever met Johnny, you cannot argue the fact that he is a really good guy.
If you vehemently disagree with the casino proposal near Yampa Valley Regional Airport, that is your right. If you want to voice your opinion, please do so. Public discussion is appropriate and necessary. However, making personal attacks against someone who holds a different belief and opinion than you simply is unnecessary. Some of the comments that I have read have bordered on bullying, and that simply is unacceptable.
Even if you hate the idea of the casino proposal, just because Johnny is involved with it does not make him a bad person. I would love to see open discussions in the media and at town hall meetings remain focused on the pros and cons of the issue at hand. State your case and opinions, then back them up with educated information and facts. Leave out the personal attacks toward the individuals involved, which are not productive to either side of the issue and serve only as divisive diatribe.