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Arguments that don’t stack up

Don Rogers

Haters and lovers of the new Crossroads agree on a couple of points. So let’s start there. Everyone wants the tired, aging complex rebuilt. And no one wants the core, quaint Vail Village vibe ruined by super structures.Of course, it rapidly gets fuzzy from there. Opponents put Crossroads in the village, as if next door to Pepi’s. They compare the size – unfavorably – to the smaller One Willow Road and Sonnenalp projects on the Vail Mountain side of Meadow Drive. But as shown last Friday in this space, the new Crossroads fits with the size of its neighbors under construction along the Frontage Road. We believe that’s the true comparison. Besides, the owners of One Willow and Sonnenalp don’t object to the plan. Indeed, Johannes Faessler spoke to the Vail Town Council in favor of it.July 11, Vail’s voters will settle the fate of Crossroads.Opponents reach for a slippery slope argument about what letting Crossroads rebuild means for Vail’s future. Apparently, this Crossroads in keeping with its Frontage Road neighbors can only lead to skyscrapers on Bridge Street. They pitch the argument enthusiastically, if not very convincingly. No one is going to supersize Bridge Street in any case.Oh, but the new Crossroads would blot out the view of the freeway and sage-aspen slopes to the north. Probably true, but so does every building of two stories or more on Meadow Drive and Bridge Street – even of the far more important ski slopes to the south. That’s hardly a serious criteria. An immature Town Council approved Crossroads, according to one thoroughly “Old Guard” observation. But the allegedly more “mature” council before it approved Four Seasons and Vail Plaza, which will be about the same size without any of the public benefits negotiated over the course of two years for Crossroads. Included among these benefits are what soon will be Vail’s only movie theater, along with public plaza, upscale bowling alley, arcade, ice rink, and loading-and-delivery port for surrounding businesses.Ah, but no one extra will come to town with the “cold beds” of condos at Crossroads, and yet they’ll create great traffic and parking problems. Huh? Never mind that the surplus of parking under Crossroads will help rather than hurt Vail’s challenges here. These opponents don’t seem to realize they want to have this argument both ways.Clintonesque, the definition of height – what is is – will grow ever more confusing. However the standards stray from the town measurements, though, Crossroads will be large but not the largest building in Vail. It will be high but not the highest. And bulky but not the bulkiest.The new Crossroads sure looks like a clear asset for Vail. It will fit in with its Frontage Road neighbors. The village core will not be infringed upon. And – finally! – that worn-out old building will be replaced. That alone benefits Vail. Big time.Vail, Colorado


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