Eagle-Vail voters turn down possible step toward chairlift | VailDaily.com

Eagle-Vail voters turn down possible step toward chairlift

Eagle-Vail voters narrowly turned down Ballot Issue 5A, a proposed sales tax that would raise $1 million dollars. The money raised could have gone to a chairlift to Beaver Creek, pedestrial walkway over or under Interstate 70 or to general safety and road improvements.
Anthony Thornton | athornton@vaildaily.com |

Ballot Issue 5A

Eagle-Vail sales tax

Yes: 644

No: 671

EAGLE-VAIL — Residents turned down a proposed sales tax that would have raised $1 million in its first year to go toward transit, safety and road improvements.

While the wording of Ballot Issue 5A did not include the word “chairlift,” the money could also be put toward a connector to Beaver Creek as “transportation,” an idea that’s been floated for years.

The money could also have been used as funding for a pedestrian bridge over Interstate 70 to link the area’s residential and commercial districts or to help complete the valley-long bike trail.

Eagle-Vail Property Owners Association members and staff of the metro district are currently engaged in a strategic planning process with an outside consultant. The process includes everything from financial planning to projects and land planning.

“It’s probably too early to assess what this means to Eagle-Vail,” community manager Jeff Layman said after the final tally was made. “This will obviously figure largely in our conversations over the next few weeks as we work on that strategic plan.”

The sales tax was for a maximum of 2.9 percent, which, when added to the area’s current 4.4 percent sales tax would top out at 7.3 percent.

Long Process

With less than a 30-vote difference on Ballot Issue 5A, Layman said he Eagle-Vail officials will continue to work with members of the community to see if a sales tax like this would ever pass, and how.

“I think the biggest thing that folks in Eagle-Vail need to know is we’re engaged in this strategic planning process and we hope to better understand our community members,” Layman said.

Whatever the board decides to do about pursuing a chairlift plan, a sales tax is the first part of a very long process, which includes work with the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

In 1988, a study was done for a potential Eagle-Vail chairlift from near the driving range at the Eagle-Vail Golf Course to the Cinch Trail catwalk at Beaver Creek.

Eagle-Vail Metropolitan District board member David Warner ran for election last year on a platform based, in part, on researching the idea of financing a lift between the neighborhood and Beaver Creek.

Steven Daniels, a member of the Eagle-Vail Property Owners Board of Directors, said that any proposal for a lift would take years — perhaps three to five — to get to the construction stage.

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.