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Avon big boxes about to open

Christine Ina Casillas

More than 100 business owners and residents attended a luncheon at the Beaver Creek Chophouse Friday to hear representatives of the Village at Avon, The Home Depot and the Wal-Mart Supercenter discuss the progress of each project.

But the question on the minds of both business owners and residents was about the future of the existing Wal-Mart store. They wondered what businesses will replace Wal-Mart when it closes July 15.

Shane Bohart, vice president of development for the Village at Avon, said interest in the space is strong.

“We’re looking at three retailers in the old Wal-Mart building but cannot disclose any information at this moment until we get the paperwork signed,” Bohart said.

While both The Home Depot and Wal-Mart Supercenter stores are expected to lure shoppers from across the region, they also are expected to bring in about 400 employees each, beginning with more than 150 full-time employees at Wal-Mart.

“That number will grow as the store gets bigger over time,” said Dan Wilkison, co-manager of the Wal-Mart Supercenter.

The “one-stop shopping” appeal of the supercenter also will include a year-round greenhouse that hasn’t been used in other stores, Wilkison said.

The store also has other features in the valley not “normally” seen in other stores because of its locale, he said.

“This supercenter has 25,000 square feet less than the normal supercenters, but what’s so interesting about the store is the lighting,” he said. “Skylights are all throughout the store, and the regular store lights will dim to conserve energy. We haven’t done anything like that before.

“It’s definitely an energy saver,” he added.

Along with conserving energy, the Village at Avon has plans to build ball fields, skateboarding bowls and parks on part its 1,800 acres.

When the property was acquired in 1992, there was talk about bringing in stores that would benefit Avon, Bohart said.

Along with the building of the big box stores, the Village at Avon worked with transportation agencies to develop the “full-diamond” interchange at Interstate 70 as well as access to the stores from U.S. Highway 6. A road, Post Boulevard, will run from the interchange – on the north side of the property – into the Village at Avon and then travel south under the railroad tracks and across a bridge over the Eagle River where it will connect at a roundabout to Highway 6.

A second access road will run into the complex from East Beaver Cre


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