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Eagle Town Council discusses Grand Avenue Corridor plans and updated cost estimates

Updated plans for the Grand Avenue Corridor dominated discussion in Tuesday’s Eagle Town Council meeting as project leader and landscape architect Pedro Campos presented the latest design proposals for what is currently estimated to be a $56 million redevelopment.

Campos began with a review of the redevelopment’s guiding principles. The project aims to expand transportation options beyond personal vehicles, encourage community engagement with public spaces and Eagle businesses, and enhance the town’s aesthetic appeal — all while juggling environmental considerations, economic realities and equity concerns as distinct priorities. 

Described as “shooting for the moon,” by Campos, the design plan presented to Town Council members on Tuesday almost comprehensively met these goals. 

The proposal outlined an expansion of the roadway from two to four lanes, as well as the addition of a raised landscape median and four new roundabouts to better accommodate the roadway’s high traffic volume. According to Campos, however, even with the proposed improvements, the construction of an alternate interchange will likely be necessary at some point in the future as traffic volume projections indicate that daily travel demand in Eagle will more than double in the next 15 years. 

“One road cannot do it all,” he said.

The plan also included a detached, 12-foot wide cycle track and 6-foot-wide designated pedestrian walkway, termed the “bistro-zone” in reference to the potential for roadside businesses to capitalize on the newly walkable community space. Both of these paths would be constructed along the south side of Grand Avenue. 

Addressing concerns for safety voiced by stakeholders, both the expanded roadway and new pedestrian zone would be illuminated by streetlights after dark. Other new installations would include decorative gateways on either side of the corridor, as well as by major streets in an effort to build town character and make way finding easier for visitors. 

Transitioning from a review of development plans, Campos handed over the presentation to planning consultants Andrew Knudsten and Sarah Dunmire to discuss financing the project. They shared three potential paths forward, scaled by estimated cost. 

The first option, at $56 million, represents estimated cost of the project if executed as proposed, without cost-reducing measures. The second plan, at $45.6 million would realize the majority of the redevelopment proposal, but eliminate a particularly costly section of the development West of Sylvan Lake Roundabout. This segment of Grand Avenue could potentially be developed at a later time. 

The most modest proposal, operates within the $32.7 million dollar budget originally slated in the town’s Capital Improvement Program and would require a major rescoping of the development. 

Certain considerations for final cost remain unknown. Specifically, as construction interferes with private property and the property of the Union Pacific Railroad to the north, the negotiation of leases or right of way acquisitions will be necessary. 

Knudsten and Dunmire concluded the presentation with strategies to finance the project at each budget-scale. Increasing sales and property taxes, introducing lock-boxes on e-commerce, marijuana and tobacco, and tax increment funding opportunities were among suggested strategies. At this time, the town has dedicated $10 million to the Grand Avenue project.

After the conclusion of the presentation, council members took time to respond, discussing increased property tax, combining the cycle and pedestrian track, and eliminating the west-most segment of the roadway as potential options to make the project most economically feasible. The council also proposed a work session to continue to evaluate cost-reducing measures as developers continue to advance planning for Grand Avenue.

Skiing, spa deals, free champagne and more: Tricia’s weekend picks 10/18/19

Skiing and snowboarding available in Colorado

It’s always been a race to see which resort can be the first to usher in the ski and snowboard season each fall. This year, Keystone thought they would be the first resort in North America to spin its lifts and welcome back skiers and riders on Oct. 12, but in a sneaky move, Arapahoe Basin opened to the public from 3:30 to 5:30 on Oct. 11.

Regardless of who was first, there were plenty of happy skiers and snowboarders enjoying some early season conditions with the help of some snowmaking equipment and cooler temperatures provided by Mother Nature.

With Keystone’s new state-of-the-art, automated snowmaking system, the resort was well-positioned to offer guests one of its earliest openings in more than 20 years. Keystone will continue to make snow at every opportunity as weather and conditions permit, and looks to expand terrain as soon as possible.

Keystone will be celebrating the start to the season with a Halloween costume contest, pancake breakfasts, live music, a bags tournament and more in upcoming weeks.

After closing this past Fourth of July, Arapahoe Basin didn’t have much of an off-season. In a surprise announcement at 1:45 p.m. last Friday, The Legend stated that it would be open less than two hours later, at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon.

Excited skiers and riders scrambled to find their gear, get off work or drive the distance to the base area to get in line and hold bragging rights for being present during opening day, well, maybe not a full day, but opening “afternoon.”

A-Basin will also have a few events to kick off the season including a Halloween concert and costume contest, so dress up your friends, family and even the dog in order to win prizes.

Before you go to either resort, check www.keystoneresorts.com and www.arapahoebasin.com for current conditions and terrain updates.

Underground Sound concert series

Save the best for last this weekend with a Sunday night show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek. The Small Glories take the stage at 7:30 p.m. and will treat the listeners to some bluegrass and folk music. This marks the third concert out of the seven-concert series dubbed “love for the locals” and the Underground Sound pass is still available.

The Small Glories consists of JD Edwards and Cara Luft (Luft was also part of the Wailin’ Jennys). This folk singer-songwriter duo met by accident on the Canadian prairie when they played an anniversary show together at Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre.

The wit and banter between Luft and Edwards are all part of the show, and sometimes the duo spends more time setting up the song than it takes to actually play the song. But the crowd loves it and the intimate setting of the Vilar will be a perfect place for the audience to feel like they are a part of the show.

Tickets are available for $28. You can still take advantage of the savings offered in the Underground Sound pass. For $125, the pass gives you entry to Sunday’s show and four more concerts in this series, which goes through Nov. 11. With the pass, you also get a drink at each show and it is transferable. I did the math and you still come out ahead financially if you purchase this pass. For more information, go to www.vilarpac.org.

Spa Deals

The change of seasons is upon us and your body may be craving a change as well. Spas are offering specials this time of year on all sorts of treatments. Take a look at these deals below. If you don’t see your spa of choice, give them a call and see if they are running any specials.

The Spa at the Vail Athletic Club

  • $99 for your choice of 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • $189 for your choice of two services: 50-minute massage, scrub or facial
  • 25% off all other services
  • www.vailathleticclub.com

The Sonnenalp Spa

  • 50-minute signature massage or facial for $99
  • 25% off all other treatments
  • Upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for an additional $85
  • www.sonnenalp.com/spa

The Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek

  • Signature spa pedicure plus a glass of prosecco for $69
  • 50-minute custom massage or 45-minute rose quartz facial for $105
  • 80- minute custom massage for $149
  • 75-minute oxygen facial for $165
  • www.allegriaspa.com

Simply Massage

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

  • $99 for a 50-minute massage or facial
  • $149 for a 75-minute massage or facial
  • $179 for 100-minute massage or facial
  • www.spaanjali.com

The Spa at Four Seasons Vail

  • 20% off massages, facials and body treatments during the month of October
  • Bring your state-issued identification upon check-in for the discount to be valid
  • www.fourseasons.com/vail/spa

The Rock Resorts Spa at the Lodge at Vail

  • $99 for a choice of a 50-minute massage, facial or body treatment
  • $149 for a choice of an 80-minute body treatment (which includes a free gift)
  • Book two treatments in one day and get a glass of champagne
  • 20% off a full-price Float Tank session
  • 20% off of a spray tan
  • www.thevailcollections.com/spa

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many businesses are honoring that with events and deals through the end of the month. The Sonnenalp Breast Center in Edwards reminds you that this is also a good time to schedule your mammogram if you need one. They are even open on Saturdays throughout the month of October to help you fit an appointment into your schedule.

Spa Anjali at the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon is raffling off two spa prizes with 100% of the proceeds going to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. The prizes are:

  • One four-hour Alpen Rejuvenation package valued at $370
  • One spa gift basket valued at $500

The raffle is going on between now and the end of the month and raffle tickets are priced at one ticket for $10 and three tickets for $20. Visit Spa Anjali to purchase your tickets and they are asking for cash only. Two winners will randomly be selected on Nov. 1. For more information, go to Spa Anjali’s Facebook page.

Barre Forte in Edwards is also getting into the spirit of giving back and invites you to tuck, hold and burn your way through a day of barre classes to raise money for the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. This Saturday, take one class, two classes or as many as your muscles can handle during the Barre-A-Thon. Barre Forte is asking for a $10 donation for each class. Classes start at 9 a.m. and will continue each hour with 4 p.m. being the last class. Pink drinks will follow to celebrate the sweat and success of this fun fundraiser. Sign up in advance to secure your spot.

Barre Forte will also be donating a portion of all punch cards and pink merchandise sold during the month of October to the Vail Breast Cancer Awareness Group. For more information check out Barre Forte’s Facebook page.

The SKEA clothing line, led by Vail local Diane Boyer, is going to donate 5% of all sales during the month of October to the Shaw Cancer Center at Vail Health in Edwards. Proceeds will directly benefit patients at Shaw through the Spirit of Survival program where they receive free emotional and physical services to help them fight their battle. If you need a cute ski jacket, new snow pants or some of their great base layers or accessories buy them this month and help give back. Learn more at www.skealimited.com.

Celebrate International Champagne Day

Cheers to the off-season! If you need an excuse to make a toast, the new Grand Hyatt Vail is offering a complimentary glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne and specials at the hotel, restaurant and spa all weekend.

The Grand Hyatt Vail has partnered up with Moët & Chandon Champagne and is taking celebrations to a new level. At 6 p.m. on Friday, celebrate International Champagne Day by witnessing a Champagne sabering in the hotel’s Fireside Lounge. Complimentary glasses of Moët Impérial will be served and additional glasses available for $20.19 throughout the evening. Moët & Chandon specialists will be on hand for the event to discuss champagne and make pairing suggestions.

Grand Hyatt Vail will also offer $129 rooms on Friday night. The room rate includes tokens for the state’s only champagne vending machine, located in the lobby, that is filled with Moët & Chandon Champagne.

A Champagne brunch will be served on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Gessner, Grand Hyatt Vail’s signature restaurant for $20.19. The special bubbly brunch menu will include decadent champagne pancakes, live entertainment and $20.19 glasses of Moët Ice with a unique celebratory twist. The Spa at the Grand Hyatt Vail will offer seasonal specials including a choice of a 50-minute classic massage or signature facial for $119 or upgrade to an 80-minute treatment for $190.

Leave no trace with these hiking tips

As the snow melts and the trails dry out, many people are excited to hike around and get closer to nature’s display of flora and fauna. Although hiking seems pretty simple, the Colorado Tourism Office and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics wants to make sure that everyone is enjoying the outdoors while also following a set of principles aimed at guiding travelers to show care for the state’s water, land and wildlife while helping protect special Colorado places.

The goal of the Leave No Trace Seven Principles is to encourage the state’s 82 million visitors to be active stewards of Colorado’s precious natural resources and cultural artifacts. Locally, Walking Mountains Science Center promotes the Leave No Trace Seven Principles on all their hikes as a way to teach newcomers and remind experienced hikers what is appropriate out on the trail.

Here’s a look at the seven principles:

1. Know Before You Go

  • Our state and federal agencies manage 42 percent of Colorado’s majestic landscape. Learn about and respect the spaces we all own and share.
  • Find your way to less-visited and off-peak destinations to minimize down time and maximize your connection with special places.
  • Bring along reusable water bottles to limit waste and stay hydrated.

2. Stick To Trails

  • With 39,000 marked trails and 13,000 designated campsites, there’s no need to venture beyond. By sticking to these areas and camping at least 200 feet from lakes, rivers and streams, you’re helping natural areas stay natural.
  • Please don’t take shortcuts. Stay on designated paths.

3. Trash the Trash

  • Pack it in, pack it out. Put litter, even crumbs, peels and cores in your nearest waste/recycling bin, and if there aren’t any nearby, hang onto it until you see one, which might not be until you’ve completed your hike.
  • Wash yourself, your dog, etc., at least 200 feet from waterways, and use biodegradable soap to protect aquatic life. 

4. Leave It As You Find It

  • Leave plants, rocks and historical items as you find them so others experience the joy of discovery.
  • Any of our 750 different species of wildflowers will live forever in a photo. Please do not pick the flowers.
  • Colorado is beautiful all on its own. Building structures or campsites on public land isn’t cool. Keep it pristine for everyone to enjoy.
  • Treat all living things with respect. Carving or hacking plants and trees may kill or disfigure them. 

5. Be Careful With Fire

  • Keep campfires small and manageable to avoid sparking wildfires.
  • When putting out a fire, water it until you can handle the embers. Never let a fire burn unattended.
  • Use care when smoking. Always put cigarettes out completely, and don’t leave your butts behind.

6. Keep Wildlife Wild

  • Colorado is home to tens of thousands of furry, scaly and feathered creatures. To keep them – and you – safe, don’t approach them.
  • Please do not feed wild animals. You could alter natural behaviors, exposing them to predators or even possible euthanasia.
  • Keep your furry buddies leashed when enjoying dog-friendly trails, and pack out their waste, all the way to a trashcan.

7. Share Our Trails and Parks

  • Chances are you’re not out in nature to people watch, so try out the lesser-known paths and sites.
  • Silence your cell phone before stepping into nature, and speak softly without using the speaker function.
  • Be considerate when passing others on the trails and yield to the uphill hiker and biker – they need the momentum.
  • Listen to nature. Keep your voice and music soft so all can enjoy the peace of Colorado.

Learn more about the Leave No Trace Care for Colorado Principles on www.Colorado.com.

Fun and games at Heart & Sole benefit for Starting Hearts (sponsored)

Did you realize that we have more than 400 Automated Electronic Defibrillators, which is the highest per capita in the nation, right here in Eagle County? It’s all due to the hard work and dedication of Starting Hearts, a local non profit whose mission is to save precious lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims through education and CPR training and by placing Automated External Defibrillators in key locations throughout Eagle County.

Their Heart & Sole event is this Saturday, August 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and aims to not only entertain but to educate. Live music, face painting and a bounce house for the kids along with a healthy lunch will be served, but there will also be free CPR lessons in their signature Heart Rod Bus and a one-mile, 3k and a 5k run/walk led by Josiah Middaugh. Middaugh is an 8-time Xterra World Champion triathlete and although he is the image of health, he knows no one is immune to sudden cardiac arrest.

“I was looking to align myself with a charitable organization and after learning more I decided to team up with Starting Hearts,” Middaugh said. “The connection between some of the athletes who I have been close to who have died from sudden cardiac arrest and what Starting Hearts does kind of hit home. It’s a way to have a really big impact. To save one life is an amazing thing.”

Since the organization began 8 years ago, their mission to educate has spread. “We teach like crazy, we do free CPR classes anytime, anywhere for anyone who wants and I think we’ve trained over 16,000 here in Eagle County,” said Alan Himelfarb, executive director of Starting Hearts.

In addition to the fun and games at Ford Park ball fields, The Great Town of Vail Defibrillator Scavenger Hunt will take participants all over town. Registered teams will have 90 minutes to locate public access defibrillators and the top teams to locate the most will win prizes. The first place team will win a complete $2,195 Philips OnSite defibrillator package.

For more information, visit www.startinghearts.org.

First friday

The Vail Valley Art Guild invites one and all to attend our “First Friday” Reception on March 2, at 5:30 to 8 p.m., located at 1 Lake Street, Avon (in the former Avon Police Station). In addition to our featured “March Madness” exhibit, we will be showcasing fine art from our new Guild President, Andrew Pranger. Our famous Treasure Chest room will also contain original art, photographs and ceramics for less than $100.

Charity Disc golf

The prominent disc golf club of Eagle County, the Flying Eagle Disc Society, will once again be hosting a charity disc golf event at Hole in the Sky Disc Golf Course. The Eagle County Ice Bowl, held Sunday, March 4, will be donating 100 percent of the proceeds to Food Rescue Express. Food Rescue Express provides weekends of meals for low-income elementary age students in Eagle County. This is a one round random draw doubles style event for all skill levels with many novelty holes. Day of registration is available for $30 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Come support the kids of Eagle County.

Support independent Film

The Breckenridge Film Festival’s annual fundraiser is coming up on March 4 – Academy Awards Night – and aside from being an opportunity to enjoy a chic night out to view the awards on the big screen, it’s also a chance to land a next-generation computer designed for creatives.

In tandem with what guests deem one of the best silent auctions in the county, the Breck Film Fest is hosting an online auction for the HP ZBook x2 Detachable Workstation, donated by HP Workstations in Fort Collins. With a detachable screen that remains connected by Bluetooth to the keyboard, the ZBook also is one of the most responsive computers on the market for stylus drawing, making it a perfect fit for any creative, from artist to architect to engineer to photographer, filmmaker or graphic designer. Tickets to the event are available at breckfilmfest.org. The online auction is live now until noon on March 6 at bit.ly/BFFHPZbook.

Help needed

Vail Symposium could use your help. Vail Symposium is looking for volunteers who would like to be part of our educational programs. It is a great way to contribute to our community and learn about hot topic subjects. Please give us a call if you like to volunteer at 970-476-0954.

Vail Symposium’s mission is to provide educational programs that are thought-provoking, diverse and affordable. True to that mission, over the past decade, the Symposium has offered more educational programs to more members of our community than almost any other organization in the valley.

Vail Daily Town Talk: Love Notes

On Valentine’s Day, the Vail Daily will publish our popular Valentine “Love Notes.” This year the first 20 words are free for each note when you use our web form to place the note. Just go to vaildaily.com/valentine for more info or to place your note. Or for a small fee you can call it in at 970-845-9937 or email it to classifieds@vaildaily.com The deadline is Feb. 13 at 4:30 p.m.

Vail Daily Town Talk: What’s the Commotion All About?

We know you’ve been curious what all the commotion at the Inn at Riverwalk has been about. Now, we invite you to see the renovation for yourself. Don’t miss the ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the event. Enjoy a glass of wine, sample appetizers from local restaurants and tour the property. Bring your business card to enter our raffle for a free one-night stay. Experience the Inn at Riverwalk for yourself, or pass your prize to friends or family. Why should the humans have all the fun? The Inn at Riverwalk is pet friendly. We would love to meet your furry friend at our locals open house as well.