Editorial: Vail’s surging density | VailDaily.com

Editorial: Vail’s surging density

Matt Zalaznick
Vail Daily Editorial Board
Vail, CO Colorado

There was a nice big open space behind the Vail Farmer’s Market this summer. The view of the freeway and the facing hillside wasn’t anything spectacular, but the demolition of the Crossroads building ” which will be replaced by a bigger complex ” let some much needed sunlight onto our resort’s streets.

While it’s hard to argue against the redevelopment of the aging village, some streets are becoming a bit cavernous. They’re canyons with Bavarian walls.

A recent proposal to cram condos, shops and offices between the Vail Village parking garage and the adjacent street ” yes, there’s about 70 feet of space there ” will only add to this crowding effect.

There’s not much space left on our former sheep ranch, and time-shares and hotel rooms and ski shops have to be packed in and piled upwards. Any sane developer wants to get as much profit-per-square-inch as possible.

And density is often a good solution when acreage is scarce or you’re trying to stop sprawl, but the towering facades have to be robbing Vail of some of its charm. There are now a lot of spots in the village from which you can’t really see the slopes.

Many of the projects, on their own, are attractive, such as the new Sonnenalp and the sketches of the Solaris building. Cumulatively, they bring a bit of a Manhattan-feel to our “quaint” Colorado ski village.

Once we’re dense, we’ll probably be dense forever, and the town’s leaders

and residents will have to decide just how many views of the mountain they feel comfortable blocking.

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