EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado - Standing-room-only meetings at Eagle Town Hall aren't unprecedented, but last week's Eagle Vision 20/20 event did offer something different.
No one was arguing.
The event, hosted by the Eagle Chamber of Commerce, featured economic updates for both the town and county along with awards presentations for the Eagle Chamber Business of the Year and Chamber Member of the Year. Nearly 150 people crowded inside the town's meeting room for the special event.
Mayor Yuri Kostick and Chris Romer of the Vail Valley Partnership were the featured speakers for the event. Kostick began his presentation by outlining 28 recent town accomplishments ranging from new bridge construction east of town to development of the www.eagleoutside.com recreation-based website.
"The town of Eagle, just as much as anyone ... has seen the national recession hit hard," said Kostick.
But, he added, the tide appears to be turning with 2012 sales tax revenues showing a 2.6 percent increase (following four straight years of sales tax declines) and some large-new projects set to begin construction.
Kostick highlighted his list of what's to come by describing the upcoming $14 million Eby Creek Road construction plan. Beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2014, Eagle's main entry to and from Interstate 70 is getting a comprehensive makeover that will include construction of four roundabouts and installation of a new pedestrian/bicycle bridge over I-70. The project also includes new landscaping, signs and reconfiguration of the roadway to better address traffic needs.
"This is the most impactful project for all of us," said Kostick. "We are going to have to get ready."
Kostick also highlighted the proposed Castle Peak Senior Care Community project. Eagle County is working with Augustana Corp. on the project to build the Castle Peak Senior Care Community at the intersection of Sylvan Lake Road and Capitol Street, just north of Brush Creek Elementary in Eagle Ranch. As proposed, the facility will be comprised of 64 units, including 20 assisted living apartments, 22 skilled nursing units, 12 memory care and 10 rehabilitation suites.
"This is a great, great opportunity for Eagle," said Kostick.
Additionally, Kostick noted the proposed Haymeadow residential development south of town is expected to continue its public hearings before the town this summer and that the Eagle River Center commercial/residential project proposed east of town and south of I-70 is proceeding with its leasing program.
Romer's presentation highlighted economic statistics for the county as a whole, which show both population and housing prices on the rise. On the downside, Romer noted that since 2007, the Eagle County Regional Airport has lost 27 percent of its capacity. He said efforts are under way to attract more commercial flights to the facility, which serves as an economic engine for the county.
Honoring Eagle businesses
Following the presentations, Eagle Chamber President Jim Ash emceed the groups 2012 awards presentations.
Broadway and Fourth Jewelers was named New Business of the Year and owner Kristie Pooley accepted the award.
Ash noted the chamber's Member of the Year award drew a strong group of candidates including:
• Cameron Douglas of Dusty Boot/Luigi's Pastahouse.
• Edith Taylor of Royal Cruise Adventures.
• Erin Vega of Eagle Ranch Association.
• Michelle Morgan of Alpine Self Storage.
• Patty Hood of Hood Insurance Agency.
The winner of the 2012 Chamber Member of the Year Award is Michelle Friedman of NRC.
For the 2012 Business of the Year award, the nominees were:
• Drift Innovation.
• Edward Jones Investments/Kevin Brubeck.
• Elements, A Day Spa.
The winner of the 2012 Eagle Business of the Year Award is Dusty Boot/Luigi's Pastahouse.
Following the awards presentation, the meeting adjourned to Moe's Original Barbeque in Eagle where the Eagle Chamber provided attendees with a free drink coupon.