Board— Vail Town Council, May 7 afternoon work session.
Present— Kevin Foley, Ludwig Kurz, Susie Tjossem, Margaret Rogers, Greg Moffet, Kerry Donovan, Mayor Andy Daly.
Issue— Fourth of July fireworks.
Who they talked to— Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger, Vail Fire Chief Mark Miller, town economic development director Kelli McDonald and James Deighan of Highline Sports.
What they talked about— The group updated the town council about plans for Fourth of July fireworks this year. The plan is to fire “close proximity” fireworks — the kind used in indoor stadiums — off the Vail Village parking structure. The fireworks will be set off just after dark, before 10 p.m.
The plan for this year is the same as last year, before heat and drought canceled virtually every fireworks display in the state’s mountain region.
In a continued effort to keep underage drinking to a minimum, the council also agreed to continue a curfew in the village for people younger than 21, with “go home” time set just after the firework show.
The July 4 fireworks will cap a full day of entertainment after the Vail America Days parade. Deighan said there will be entertainment throughout the day, in an effort to keep people in Vail — and, presumably, spending money — from the parade until after dark.
Parade safety was also part of the discussion, with some council members asking about throwing candy to kids along the parade route. A couple of kids have had their feet flattened by floats over the past few years, prompting a prohibition on throwing candy from floats. Instead, people walking alongside the floats will be able to toss candy into the crowd.
What’s next?— If we’re hit again with a late-spring/early-summer drought and heat wave like last year, expect the fireworks to be called off again.
Issue— Renovating the information center at the Vail Village parking structure.
Who they talked to— Town public works director Greg Hall and consultant Janet Martin of Stantec, a Boulder-based architecture and engineering company.
What they talked about— Hall and Martin went over a few options for renovating the visitor center atop the structure. Those options ranged in cost from about $1.5 million — which would pay for new paint and installing restrooms — to more than $4 million for a project that would add 1,500 square feet, landscaping and more to the 23-year-old parking structure.
Council members had different opinions about the options, especially the cost. Eventually, Martin and Hall were asked for a couple of new options, including the prospect of putting escalators on the south side of the structure. Council members also wondered about the possibility of joining the visitor center with the rest of the offices and facilities at the parking structure. Now, someone who stops at the visitor center has to go to another building, then head downstairs to use the restroom.
What’s next?— More number-crunching and option-providing.
Scott N. Miller