Daughter of Avon originals vying for council | VailDaily.com

Daughter of Avon originals vying for council

Veronica Whitney
Bret Hartman/Vail DailyAvon town council canidate Tamra Underwood sits on her porch with her two children and husband.

AVON – One could say Tamra Nottingham Underwood’s feelings for the town of Avon are reflected in the old ranch house next to the Eagle River she is restoring with her husband and two children.The 1908 wood house, built by Underwood’s great uncle, Clyde Nottingham, stands proudly in the middle of several modern buildings of condos and townhomes.The spirit of old Colorado still breathes throughout the property, which Underwood, 40 – the great granddaughter of William Nottingham, who in 1887 homesteaded the 160 acres of land now called Avon – bought four years ago from her parents.Outside, dozens of mature cottonwoods, aspens and spruce shelter the house from the busier streets of Avon. Inside, the house, which smells of old oak and still has the original windows, is filled with old photos of historic Avon and Underwood’s ancestors.”I want to conserve historical sites and structures and show that Avon’s heritage is an amenity that can be cherished and shared,” said Underwood, one of six candidates vying for one of three seats at the Avon Town Council.After talking to Underwood, it appears she wants to take care of the town of Avon in the same way she’s taking care of her great uncle’s house. “Avon and this house are home more than anything,” said Underwood, whose platform includes the creation of parks, more recreational opportunities and open space.”I don’t want to stop change but to keep change moving in a positive direction,” she added. “The reason I decided to run for council is I decided to put my money where my mouth was and hopefully sit on the board and have a vote for the future of Avon. Avon is on the brink of an important time with ongoing development and redevelopment.”A new town core is among the things Underwood envisions for Avon.

“She’s passionate about keeping Avon the way Avon should be kept,” said Darien Underwood, who’s been married to Tamra for 13 years. “She’s one of the most popular locals who have a voice. She knows what she’s talking about and she’s extremely well educated.”‘Heart of the Valley’Underwood has lived in the valley since 1968 and attended schools within the Eagle County School District since kindergarten, graduating from Battle Mountain High School in 1982. She has a bachelor of science degree in finance from the University of Colorado and she obtained her law degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. Once the town of Avon prosecutor, Underwood has also served as counsel to Vail Resorts for nine years and currently serves as counsel to Vail-based Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc. Her career as a volunteer includes work with the Eagle Valley Community Fund, The Learning Tree, The Children’s Garden of Learning and the Eagle County Charter Academy. “I agree that Avon is ‘The Heart of the Valley,'” said Underwood referring to the town’s slogan, “and therefore believe Avon’s issues are everyone’s issues. I’d like to strengthen Avon’s relationship with Beaver Creek for our common good. This winter season, the two communities will be more closely connected for the first time by ski lifts.”Although in July she joined an outcry against the new 150-foot flagpole in the Wal-Mart parking lot at the Village at Avon, Underwood said if she gets on council she’ll do everything she can to move the Village at Avon in a direction beneficial to both locals and visitors.”There’s so many chapters yet to be written on that project and I’m optimistic about it,” she said of the largest residential and retail complex in Eagle County, a development that will ultimately double the size of the town. Climbing fourteenersUnderwood said she also wants to help create an atmosphere that attracts small businesses.

“Tamra has the vision to bring a true village core to fruition, creating a sense of place in Avon that will allow small businesses the opportunity to survive and thrive,” said longtime local Chris Doyle, 34, an Avon resident and general manager of Bob’s Place. “Casting a vote for Tamra is ensuring new energy among our town’s decision-makers.”Longtime valley rancher and historian, Frank Doll, 83, said Underwood’s goal as an Avon council person would be “to shepherd the development of the land toward an entity of excellence and of the highest quality.” “Wife, mother, attorney, athlete, citizen. These are traits and accomplishments inherited, nourished and refined by Tamra Underwood,” said Doll, who lives next to the Underwoods in Avon. In the meantime, Underwood said she’ll continue fly fishing, hiking fourteeners -she recently hiked one to celebrate her 40th birthday- and camping with her husband and two children.”There’s a little bit of a trophy at the end of a fourteener,” she said. “And you get to spend eight hours with your friends.”Staff writer Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454 or vwhitney@vaildaily.com. ========================================Tamra Nottingham Underwood

Age: 40Family: Husband, Darien, 38; daughter, Morgan, 8, and son, Conner, 4Place of birth: DenverProfession: Corporate attorneyRecent favorite book: “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philipa GregoryFavorite food: MexicanFavorite beverage: Paulaner OktoberfestHobbies: Hiking fourteeners, tai chi, scrapbooking, skiingWhere did you meet your husband? F.A.C. -Friday Afternoon Club- at Cyrano’s in VailWhat two people, dead or alive, would you invite to dinner? Thomas Jefferson and Audrey Hepburn=================================================

Support Local Journalism