Another delay for fire-breathing fountain |

Another delay for fire-breathing fountain

VAIL ” The completion of a water-and-fire fountain at the top of Vail’s Bridge Street has been delayed again, this time till next June.

The fountain, designed by the same company that did the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, was supposed to be completed in November.

Construction started last September, but there have been delays in getting the right parts from the designer, WET Design, said Todd Oppenheimer of the town of Vail. Also, some of the underground work took longer than expected, he said.

Construction of the fountain has been suspended, and the town will put a tree on the incomplete fountain.

Some local businesses said they’re frustrated with the delay.

“To go through that (construction) and have this as the end result, it’s kind of like, ‘Come on, guys, what’s going on here?'” said Clark Wilkinson, manager of the Mountain Adventure Center on Seibert Circle.

Others, though, said delays are to be expected.

“We’ve been going through five years of construction,” said Steve Kaufman, an owner of the nearby Tap Room bar and restaurant. “What’s another six months?”

The fountain was originally supposed to be completed last July, but troubles with design, planning and cost overruns delayed the project.

Councilwoman Kim Newbury, who has been a steadfast opponent of the Seibert Circle fountain, said WET Design has acted unprofessionally in not getting Vail the right parts in time.

“I don’t believe they are reliable, and I am very frustrated with their performance,” she said.

Representatives from California-based WET Design could not be reached Friday.

Newbury has also criticized the cost of the project, which has risen to $1.7 million ” that includes repaving the street and adding snow-melt equipment. The town is paying $1.3 million, with Vail Resorts and private donors chipping in the rest.

Kaufman said he thinks the fountain will be a good thing when it’s done.

“It’s way better than whatever artist they had there before,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

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