Vail Daily letter: Rethink Timber Ridge
Ryan Summerlin February 15, 2013
I recently read about the prospective plans for a new Timber Ridge apartment complex.
As a former resident of Timber Ridge, I don’t understand the town’s need to tear down the existing structures and build something brand new. The structures are in desperate need of a refurbishment, but that mostly consists of interior renovations that appear to have been neglected for years.
Unless there are some structural issues or a termite infestation I am unaware of, I would like to make a recommendation to update the exteriors of the buildings, completely remodel the interiors, and keep the existing number of beds.
As a current Vail Resorts employee and resident of Vail, I have seen the need for affordable housing in the valley grow. Timber Ridge is one of the few places that can be found that offers affordable housing. To reduce the number of available spots in the housing complex seems ridiculous. I don’t believe any of the residents currently living there are looking for palatial surroundings – just a clean, comfortable, and affordable place to enjoy their stay in Vail.
As a 15-year veteran of the construction and property management fields, I would like to offer the town my solution. Give the people who actually live in Timber Ridge a say in what is going to happen there. Surveying the residents and workers of the complex would be a beneficial place to start.
A strong future for Vail requires a depth and breadth of good workers that can realize success by being offered opportunities to enjoy life in Vail. Housing is essential to drawing the good people we have seen in the past.
This being said, I would like to offer some suggestions of things I have learned over the years. Affordable housing is essential for workers in places that are as expensive as Vail. The part that seems to be forgotten is that after-work activities are also essential. What many communities have done is offer a community center to give people an opportunity to be productive after work. I would like to see a low-cost community center that offers activities and possibly a workout facility and movie theater added to the grounds.
I understand space is definitely an issue at Timber Ridge, but I believe healthy activities will breed a better workforce and less mischief at the complex.
I also believe a green remodel that could be LEED-certified would be a great cost savings to the town and also a source of pride for the community.
I couldn’t imagine how proud the tenants would be to get off the bus at Timber Ridge and not have to joke about it being “Timber Ritz,” but to actually have a beautifully landscaped, impressively decorated, completely green living facility.
Pride goes a long way toward a close-knit community. Imagine a place where the employees aren’t outcasts but real members of the community with a very important voice.