Buyers picked for Vail’s Chamonix townhomes | VailDaily.com

Buyers picked for Vail’s Chamonix townhomes

By the numbers

32: Townhomes available at the new Chamonix development in Vail.

3.6 acres: Size of the site

$17.5 million: Current town investment in the project.

$739,000: Price of the four most expensive units.

VAIL — The idea behind the new Chamonix townhome project in West Vail was to bring families to town and keep them from moving downvalley. Based on Wednesday's lottery drawing for the homes, the plan worked.

While several longtime Vail residents' names were drawn in the lottery, many other homes went to families who either have, or are expecting, children.

Before the drawing began, George Ruther, town of Vail community development department director, asked the crowd of more than 90 lottery participants if anyone had brought a good luck charm.

Gregory Miranda quickly pointed toward his wife, Sarah. The Mirandas' names were drawn first, and the couple quickly selected a unit.

The Mirandas' rent in West Vail now. As the Chamonix drawing was announced and more information was released, the couple decided to qualify for financing, take the homebuyer education classes and learn everything they could about the project.

Young families

Part of the inspiration also came because the Mirandas are in a family way for the first time.

"The baby was part of our inspiration," Sarah Miranda said.

Wednesday, the Mirandas arrived early at the Donovan Pavilion, where the drawing was held. They came armed with a plan and a preference for every available unit.

Jennifer and David Riddle are also expecting their first child, a boy. Asked how far along Jennifer's pregnancy is, both said "any time." Her due date is May 15.

The Riddles, who are now renting on Chamonix Lane, both grew up in the Vail Valley and have returned.

"This will be our first home together," Jennifer Riddle said.

While a number of longtime residents' names came up in the drawing, Karen and Charles Hannah really did hit the lottery.

The Hannahs lived in Black Hawk until January. Karen Hannah commuted every day from the gambling town to a job in Denver. Charles Hannah works for the Colorado Department of Transportation.

Early this year, Karen Hannah started work at Vail Valley Medical Center, and Charles Hannah was able to transfer to this transportation department district.

"Living and working in the mountains has always been my dream," Karen Hannah said. For now, the Hannahs are living a condo near the Vail Golf Club. In the months after their Black Hawk home sold, they started looking for a home here.

The Chamonix lottery came at the perfect time, Karen Hannah said.

The Black Hawk home "was our dream house," Karen Hannah said. "Hopefully this will be, too."

When the Hannahs' names were drawn, the couple broke into unbreakable grins.

"It took 90 days for us to find two jobs, sell a house and get a house," Charles Hannah said.

Unbreakable grins

Unbreakable grins, whoops, hugs and high-fives were the order of the evening among those chosen.

There was also a common exclamation: "We're going to be neighbors!"

The Chamonix project marks the first time in almost 20 years Vail has built deed-restricted, for-sale housing for residents. The last project was Vail Commons, above the West Vail City Market.

Lisa Brandmeyer has lived in a Vail Commons unit for 18 years. She was one of the first to re-purchase one of those homes.

Brandmeyer applied for a Chamonix home for a chance to upgrade.

"It's a new development; it's green, and I like the open space," Brandmeyer said.

By the time Brandmeyer's name was drawn, the only units left were three-bedroom homes, so she put her name on a waiting list. If any of the people Wednesday can't follow through with their purchase, then there are people waiting in the wings.

The 10 two-bedroom units were the first off the board Wednesday, but the three-bedroom units didn't linger long. That includes the four largest, and most expensive, three-bedroom units, priced at $739,000. There was some concern, particularly by Vail Town Council member Dick Cleveland, that those top-tier units might be difficult to sell. Those townhomes are by far the most expensive deed-restricted homes sold in the valley.

But the four top-tier units weren't the last ones off the board. In fact, by the time the fourth of those units had been selected, there were still a handful of the other 18 three-bedroom homes still available.

Longtime Vail resident and business owner Rayla Kundolf attended the lottery to support a couple of her employees.

Talking before the drawing, the lottery turned out about the way Kundolf hoped it would: "I hope we see a mix of young families and older people, people who have lived here a long time and people who are new."

That's exactly what happened.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, smiller@vaildaily.com and @scottnmiller.