Vail Town Council gives initial OK to Marriott proposal in West Vail |

Vail Town Council gives initial OK to Marriott proposal in West Vail

VAIL — The Vail Town Council has given preliminary approval to a proposal for a Marriott Residence Inn in West Vail that would include apartments, hotel rooms, and underground parking. They approved the special development district ordinance by a vote of 5-2, with Kevin Foley and Jen Mason against, on first reading. Second reading is scheduled for Feb. 21. The development proposal under review for the Marriott Residence Inn includes an extended-stay hotel with 170 limited service lodge rooms, fitness facilities including swimming pool and hot tubs, a breakfast dining area and similar lodge amenities. As a public benefit, the project also includes an apartment component including 113 one- and two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from approximately 600 square feet to 1,200 square feet. Of the 113 rental apartments, 107 would be deed restricted. Also included in the proposal is a two-level underground parking structure containing 360 parking spaces. (function(d, s, id) {var js,ijs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(d.getElementById(id))return;js=d.createElement(s);;js.src=”//”;ijs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, ijs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘scrbbl-js’));

Housing developer to host open house Monday in Vail

VAIL — The Harp Group, the developers of the proposed Marriott Residence Inn and an affordable housing project in West Vail will host an informational open house Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail.  The proposed project includes a 170-room Marriott Residence Inn and 113 deed-restricted apartments, as well as 328 below-grade parking spaces located on the former Roost Lodge property in West Vail. It was first submitted to the town of Vail on Aug. 15 and is currently under review by the town's Planning and Environmental Commission.  "We want to give community members and our neighbors in West Vail an opportunity to meet the development and design teams and ask questions about the project outside of the more formal town meetings," said Peter Dumon, founder and president of The Harp Group, a real estate and hospitality investment corporation headquartered in suburban Chicago. "It's an important project for Vail and all of Eagle County and we want to make sure people fully understand it. We've personally invited our immediate neighbors to the open house via email, but anyone with an interest in the project is welcome to stop by." The town of Vail has adopted a housing plan to purchase 1,000 deed restrictions on homes and apartments in the next decade. "With our proposed 113 apartments, Vail will be more than 10 percent on its way to its goal of 1,000 deed-restricted units within town limits by 2027," Dumon said.

US says it has 5,113 nuclear warheads

WASHINGTON – The United States has 5,113 nuclear warheads in its stockpile and “several thousand” more retired warheads awaiting the junkpile, the Pentagon said Monday in an unprecedented accounting of a secretive arsenal born in the Cold War and now shrinking rapidly. The Obama administration disclosed the size of its atomic stockpile going back to 1962 as part of a campaign to get other nuclear nations to be more forthcoming, and to improve its bargaining position against the prospect of a nuclear Iran. “We think it is in our national security interest to be as transparent as we can be about the nuclear program of the United States,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters at the United Nations, where she addressed a conference on containing the spread of atomic weapons. The U.S. has previously regarded such details as top secret. The figure includes both “strategic,” or long-range weapons, and those intended for use at shorter range. The Pentagon said the stockpile of 5,113 as of September 2009 represents a 75 percent reduction since 1989. A rough count of deployed and reserve warheads has been known for years, so the Pentagon figures do not tell nuclear experts much they don’t already know. Hans Kristensen, director of Nuclear Information Project, Federation of American Scientists in Washington, said his organization had already put the number at around 5,100 by reviewing budget estimates and other documents. The import of the announcement is the precedent it sets, Kristensen said. “The important part is that the U.S. is no longer going to keep other countries in the dark,” he said. Clinton said the disclosure of numbers the general public has never seen “builds confidence” that the Obama administration is serious about stopping the spread of atomic weapons and reducing their numbers. But the administration is not revealing everything. The Pentagon figure released Monday includes deployed weapons, which are those more or less ready to launch, and reserve weapons. It does not include thousands of warheads that have been disabled or all but dismantled. Those weapons could, in theory, be reconstituted, or their nuclear material repurposed. Estimates of the total U.S. arsenal range from slightly more than 8,000 to above 9,000, but the Pentagon will not give a precise number. Whether to reveal the full total, including those thousands of nearly dead warheads, was debated within the Obama administration. Keeping those weapons out of the figure released Monday represented a partial concession to intelligence agency officials and others who argued national security could be harmed by laying the entire nuclear arsenal bare. A senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity because the overall total is still classified, did not dispute the rough estimates developed by independent analysts. Exposure of once-classified totals for U.S. deployed and reserve nuclear weapons is intended to nudge nations such as China, which has revealed little about its nuclear stockpile. “You can’t get anywhere toward disarmament unless you’re going to be transparent about how many weapons you have,” said Sharon Squassoni, a nuclear policy analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Russia and the United States have previously disclosed the size of their stockpiles of deployed strategic weapons, and France and Britain have released similar information. All have signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which is the subject of the U.N. review that began Monday. The U.S. revelations are calculated to improve Washington’s bargaining power with Iran’s allies and friends for the drive to head off what the West charges is a covert Iranian program to build a bomb. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamadinejad spoke ahead of Clinton at the conference, denouncing U.S. efforts to pressure his regime to abandon its nuclear program. The U.N. conference will try to close loopholes in the internationally recognized rules against the spread of weapons technology. Independent analysts estimate the total world stockpile of nuclear warheads at more than 22,000. The Federation of American Scientists estimates that nearly 8,000 of those warheads are operational, with about 2,000 U.S. and Russian warheads ready for use on short notice. The United States and Russia burnished their credentials for insisting that other countries forgo atomic weapons by agreeing last month to a new strategic arms reduction treaty. The New START treaty sets a limit of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads for each side, down from 2,200 under a 2002 deal. The pact re-establishes anti-cheating procedures that provide the most comprehensive and substantial arms control agreement since the original 1991 START treaty. ___ Eds: Associated Press writers Anne Flaherty and Robert Burns in Washington and Matthew Lee at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Timber Ridge Village lease approved by Town Council

VAIL — The eastern half of Timber Ridge is now Lion's Ridge, and 113 new apartments will be built there. The Vail Town Council on Tuesday approved the details of a ground lease with the project developers, Gary Gorman and longtime Vail resident Jen Wright. The project will build 113 new apartments on roughly 5 acres of the Timber Ridge property, which has been owned by the town for about a decade. The town is putting about $1.3 million into renovating the apartments on the western half of the property, and those will be open to renters this year. Town officials and developers first agreed to a deal in November of 2013, but Gorman and Wright earlier this year asked to modify the terms of the original deal. In a July interview, Wright said he and Gorman had hit hurdles in getting the project financed due to the original 35-year lease on the property and asked instead for a 50-year lease. Lenders all asked for a longer lease term, Wright said. Must Be Employee Housing Deal modifications also included the option for the developers to buy the property for $5 million, about half the price the town paid a decade ago. That purchase option must be exercised within the first 10 years of the deal. If the developers don't buy the land, then they'll make lease payments to the town. Whatever option the developers choose, the land is contractually bound for employee housing. At least 70 percent of all units must be occupied by people working at least 30 hours per week in Eagle County. Opponents of the deal said the town was giving up too much with the sale option. Supporters said governments routinely provide low-cost, or no-cost, land to developers for housing and other projects. Eagle County is providing the land to developers of a senior housing center in Eagle. Council members Margaret Rogers and Dale Bugby voted against the deal at an Aug. 19 meeting. Both continued their opposition Tuesday. Bugby said Tuesday that the deal has "gone backwards" for the town in the months since it was first approved last year. Rogers said the rest of the council might be suffering "Timber Ridge fatigue" in accepting the deal before them. As Good As It Gets But council member Greg Moffet, who was on the council when the town purchased the apartments, said that council never intended for the town to keep the Timber Ridge property. He called the deal with the developers "as good as we're going to get." Mayor Pro Tem Ludwig Kurz, running the meeting in Mayor Andy Daly's absence, agreed with Moffet. So did council members Dave Chapin and Jenn Bruno, approving the deal by a 4-2 vote. Work on the new apartments will start this fall. The first tenants are expected to move in by the end of 2015. Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, and @scottnmiller.

UPDATE: Devils advance two to state wrestling semis

DENVER — Eagle Valley has two wrestlers in the state semifinals going into Friday night's action at the 3A state tournament at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Luke Morrissey is in the Final Four at 106 pounds after dispatching Carlos Hutchings, of Salida, 10-3. And, as expected, Noah Hermosillo is in the 138 semis after pinning Berthoud's Matt Bailey. Local wrestlers also recorded their first state-tournament wins after falling in the first round on Thursday. Eagle Valley's Lucas Comroe (113) and Battle Mountain's Mario DeLara (132) got wins on the consolation side of the bracket and are still in the hunt for medals. Eagle Valley's Raul Lopez, a state placer last season, fell in quarterfinals, but wil also try to wrestle back to the podium later this evening. The Devils' Caleb Laisure (145), Davis Ward (152) and Justin Morrison (160) all saw their tournaments end with their second loss. This story will be updated after Friday night's action. Class 3A 106 — Luke Morrissey, Eagle Valley dec. Carlos Hutchings, Salida, 10-3, in quarterfinals; Morrissey faces Jacob Duran, Fort Lupton, in semifinals. 113 — Lucas Comroe, Eagle Valley, tech. fall L.T. Torres, Berthoud, 20-2; Comroe continues consolation bracket with Noah Damien, Valley. 132 — Anthony Quintana, Buena Vista dec. Raul Lopez, Eagle Valley, 5-4, in quarterfinals; Lopez wrestles Colt Rohrig, Rifle, in consolation bracket. 138 — Noah Hermosillo, Eagle Valley, fall Matt Bailey, Berthoud, in quarterfinals; Hermosillo faces Nick Gallegos, Jefferson, in semifinals. 145 — Ty Addington, Florence dec. Caleb Laisure, Eagle Valley, 6-0; Laisure eliminated. 152 — Drake Zimmerman, Moffat County, dec. Davis Ward, Eagle Valley, 7-4; Ward eliminated. 160 — Jeron Petterson, Brush, dec. Justin Morrison, Eagle Valley, 6-2; Morrison eliminated. Class 4A 132 — Mario DeLara, Battle Mountain, fall Adrian Rincon, Erie, 4:48; DeLara continues consolation bracket with Jeremy Ashton, Mead.

Colorado Capitol given award for energy efficiency

DENVER, Colorado ” The 113-year-old Colorado Capitol building in Denver has been honored for energy efficiency, winning a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification. The certification, known by the acronym LEED, was presented Thursday for upgrades the state has made over the past four years. Gov. Bill Ritter says the state spent $23 million for water conservation, low-energy lights, recycling and landscaping. The upgrades were made under a program that provides the equipment with a guarantee the state will make its money back over 19 years. Colorado is the first state to win LEED certification for its capitol.

Gypsum picks best Christmas lights

GYPSUM, Colorado ” Winners have been selected for neighborhoods in Gypsum, Colorado’s Christmas lights contest. Here is the list: Overall Winner – $100 Cash from Bevridge Real Estate, 100 Price Place Red Hill – $50 gift certificate to Napa Auto Parts, 310 Strohm Circle – Rex and Rita Bossow Willowstone/Eagle River Estates – $50 gift card at Columbine Market, 120 Price Place, Robert Salazar Old Town – $50 Gas Card at Stop n Save, 760 Valley Road, Gerald Olesen Gypsum Estates – $50 gift card for Mac’s Liquor, 712 School Side, Lanie and Blake Martin Cotton Ranch/Sky Legend/Horse Pasture, $50 Gift Card to the Rittenhouse, 160 Talus (Sky Legend) Chatfield Corners – $50 Gift Certificate to The Fix, 105 Prairie Wind, Sigifredo Marrufo Buckhorn Valley – $50 Punch Card to Gypsum Rec Center, 55 Aztec Court, Thomas Klein Best Use of LED Lights – $50 Energy Credit at Holy Cross, 381 Black Bear (Cotton Ranch), Runners-up (Each runner-up receives a $10 gift certificate from Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli): 977 York View, 714 Meadow Court, 342 First Street, 306 First Street, 503 Red Hill, 251 Black Bear, 660 Grundel Way Honorable mention: 321 Strohm Circle, 871 Sunset Lane, 120 Red Hill, 205 Price Lane, 143 Riverview Road, 581 Hwy. 6, 113 First St., 154 Spring Circle, 159 Bridwell, 754 Valley Rd., 483 Vicksburg, 113 Eagle St., 697 School Side, 0005 Apache Dr., 114 Pinion, 107 Pine, 813 Green Way, 109 Quail Circle #4, 40 Stoney Creek, 80 Stoney Creek, 550 Chatfield Lane, 725 Grundell Way, 105 Prairie Wind, 65 Prairie Wind, 90 McBrayer, 190 Springfield, 30 Springfield, 0005 Apache, 070 Cochise, 0081 Cochise, 0131 Cochise, 26 Blackhawk, 11 Lagrow Rd., 405 Timberwolf, 440 Timberwolf, 265 Red Fox

Southwest bids on Denver-based Frontier Airlines

DENVER, Colorado – Southwest Airlines is making a firm bid to buy Frontier Airlines out of bankruptcy protection. That sets up a Tuesday auction with regional airline operator Republic Airways Holdings Inc. Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz confirmed to The Associated Press that the airline put in a firm bid for Frontier on Monday. He says more details will come later. A bankruptcy judge had already approved the sale of Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. to Republic for $108.8 million. But the process left the door open for other bidders. On July 30 Southwest put in a nonbinding bid of $113.6 million. Denver-based Frontier has been operating under Chapter 11 protection since April 2008.

Devils wrestling opens with two emphatic wins

GYPSUM — Wrestling with two arms is easier than doing so with one. That's one of the things Eagle Valley wrestling learned while administering season-opening thrashings of Grand Valley, 61-15, and Coal Ridge, 66-15, on Thursday night in Gypsum. There are many storylines for Devils wrestling, but a healthy Caleb Laisure at 152 pounds is a particularly exciting prospect. "Having two-armed Caleb was awesome," Devils coach Luke Cross joked. Laisure has been on and off the mat since his sophomore year, sidelined most recently by a bum right shoulder. Having had surgery earlier in the calendar year, he looked quite good on Thursday night with pins of Grand Valley's Jonathon Pena and Coal Ridge's Colby Bilson, the later taking a mere 34 seconds. "It's like a whole different world, from last year to now," Laisure said. "It was just sweet to be back out on the mat. It felt good to be back out." Also among the ranks of the healthy is sophomore Ryder Bossow. He had a tough start to the evening with a 7-0 loss to Grand Valley's A.J. Serna at 113 pounds. The latter took third at the 3A state meet last year at 106, so Bossow hung with a strong opponent and ended up getting a pin against Coal Ridge. Freshman Lucas Comroe went 2-0 with a decision and a fall. It's somewhat reassuring having a Comroe affiliated with Eagle Valley wrestling. And, just in case anyone was worried, Noah Hermosillo is still very good. As a junior he took fourth at state at 138. Wrestling right now at 145 — weights are in flux early in the season — he pinned both of his opponents. "Opening night's always the night when you get the rust off after being off six or eight months, whatever it is," Hermosillo said. "It's just to great to be back." While winning duals is nice, it's also time for the Devils to get back into the groove of week-in week-out competition. "Our boys stepped it up tonight," Cross said. "I also saw a lot of things we can work improve." Eagle Valley is at a tournament in Middle Park on Saturday. Eagle Valley 61, Grand Valley 15 106 — Luke Morrissey, EV, pin Alyx Renteria, GV, 0:36 113 — A.J. Serna, GV, dec. Ryder Bossow, EV, 7-0 120 — Lucas Comroe, EV, dec. J.T. Latham, GV, 9-4 126 — Bailey Beckum, EV maj. dec. Hector Arzate, GV, 12-3 132 — Jeff Kerns, EV, forfeit 138 — Tony Valdez, EV, pin Isiah Tigert, GV, 3:41 145 — Noah Hermosillo, EV, pin Nathaniel Chapman, GV, 5:17 152 — Caleb Laisure, EV, pin Jonathon Pena, GV, 3:05 160 — Davis Ward, EV, pin Carlos Flores, GV, 1:06 170 — Justin Morrison, EV, pin Chance Taylor, GV, 1:27 182 — Michael Kelly, GV pin Marco Rodriguez, EV, 307 195 — Cole Miller, EV, forfeit 220 — Evan Hoff, GV, pin Gabe Baldwin, EV, 1:28 Heavyweight — J. P. Velasco, EV, forfeit Eagle Valley 66, Coal Ridge 15 113 — Ryder Bossow, EV, pin Kyler Jones, CR, 3:04 120 — Lucas Comroe, EV, pin Jared Richel, CR, 0:37 126 — Edgar Morales, EV, forfeit 132 — Jeff Kerns, EV, forfeit 138 — Tony Valdez, EV, pin Eric Devora, CR, 0:46 145 — Noah Hermosillo, EV, pin Colby Lord, CR, 1:16 152 — Caleb Laisure, EV, pin Colby Bilson, CR, 0:34 160 — Davis Ward, EV, pin Eddie Gomez, CR, 1:32 170 — Gage Clemens, CR, dec. Justin Morrison, EV, 8-6 182 — Jack Powers, CR pin Marco Rodriguez, EV, 0:43 195 — Cody Harrington, CR, pin Cole Miller, EV, 4:40 220 — Gabe Baldwin, EV, pin Kevin Juarez, CR, 0:51 Heavyweight — J.P. Velasco, EV pin Kamen Odennell, CR, 0:21 106 — Luke Morrisey, EV, forfeit Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934, and @cfreud.

Drug squad: 928 pot plants seized near Glenwood Springs

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – The Two Rivers Drug Enforcement Team seized 928 marijuana plants at a grow location east of Cattle Creek Monday. According to a press release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the grow operation was up County Road 113 between Glenwood Springs and Carbondale. Most of the plants were four to five feet tall, the release stated, and had an estimated street value of around $2 million. “From information gathered at the scene, it appears that this grow has been well established for some time,” the release stated. The Sheriff’s Office was not releasing any specifics on the ongoing investigation, nor would they identify if the grow operation was located on public or private land. TRIDENT, a multi-jurisdictional task force also seized over 800 marijuana plants near Battlement Mesa in 2008. At the time, that was considered the largest grow operation ever in Garfield County.