Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from the Vail Homeowners Association monthly report. We publish weekly excerpts from the association, which keeps a close eye on economic and political trends in and outside of the town. The newsletter electronic version with links to supporting documents is available at www.vailhomeowners.com.
Eighteenth hole and green on their way to downsizing: The signature hole of the town golf course is about to be downsized to a par-4 hole as part of the expanded commercialization of the golf clubhouse as the Vail Town Council has given final contract approval to begin relocating the 18th green. This is notwithstanding a resolution from the Vail Recreation District board of directors opposing moving ahead with construction, at least for the time being.
This, as some believe, is a loss for local and part-time residents as it diminishes the quality of the experience for both the golfing public, which is largely composed of local and part-time residents, and the adjacent residential neighborhood. They see taxpayers footing the bill for expensive litigation with the surrounding golf clubhouse neighborhood, which will inevitably deprive other neighborhoods, particularly in East and West Vail, of new sidewalks, improved bus service and other tangible improvements.
Adjacent residents to the golf clubhouse have initiated litigation in the belief that the operation of the commercial event center at the golf clubhouse is incompatible with the character of their long-established residential neighborhood and would violate long standing protective covenants on the land. The neighbors fear that they have little or no protection from the town of Vail eventually converting portions of a public municipal golfing facility into an indoor-outdoor commercial event center operation as depicted in a town report concerning an alleged safety issue over the trajectory of errant golf balls from the nearby driving range.
The Vail Recreation District is the lessee and operator of the town of Vail-owned golf course. Three of the five Vail Recreation District directors urged the council to delay work on the relocation until the neighbors’ lawsuit over the redevelopment of the golf clubhouse was decided by the courts. The Vail Recreation District directors said that both the relocation of the 18th green and the redevelopment of the aged golf clubhouse should occur at the same time. The Town Council by moving ahead would cause the staggering of the construction for the two related projects. This would result in a multiple-year shutdown of key summer operations, bringing about significant losses in Vail Recreation District’s golf revenue.