Ever Vail gets warm reception | VailDaily.com

Ever Vail gets warm reception

Special to the Daily/Vail ResortsEver Vail, a $1 billion ski village proposed for West Lionshead, would have stores and restaurants on the ground level of the development. Condos, timeshares and employee housing would be above.

VAIL, Colorado ” Some were impressed, some were intrigued and some just needed more time to digest all the information.

Locals residents got a lengthy presentation Wednesday on Ever Vail, the $1 billion new ski village proposed for Vail Mountain in West Lionshead.

“I think it’s very exciting,” said Paul Kuzniar, a Vail homeowner who spends his summers here. “I think it’s visionary. There’s been a lot of work that’s gone into it. … I hope they can get it done.”

Kuzniar said he was especially impressed with the concept of creating a focal point out of Red Sandstone Creek, which is now partially hidden under the frontage road.

Ever Vail, proposed by Vail Resorts, would be centered around a new six-person gondola that would go up to Eagles Nest at the top of Vail Mountain. The gondola would have midway station so it would also replace Chair 26.

The village would also have a “boutique” five-star hotel, condos, timeshares, stores, restaurants, public skier parking and a public park.

More than 100 people attended the open house at Donovan Pavilion.

Liz Meyer, a longtime resident of Vail, said redevelopment can be a good thing for Vail.

“Some people grumble about development,” she said. “I think you have to have it, instead of stagnation all the time.”

One worry for Meyer, though, was that Ever Vail would be too bulky and block mountain views.

“I just hope they don’t make it too tall or too dense,” she said.

Gilda Kaplan, of East Vail, said she needed more information to form an opinion on the proposal, although she liked the concept of building an entire village at once, instead of in piecemeal fashion.

“I think I need more time to digest it,” Kaplan said.

Mike Gehard, of Edwards, said the project seemed interesting, but wondered whether the planned development could seem like an authentic ski village.

“It’s all about execution,” he said.

The project is proposed as a “green” village, and is seeking “platinum” certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental-Neighborhood Development program.

Vail Resorts officials say Ever Vail will cater to younger generations ” Generations X and Y. The types of stores and restaurants and even the condos might cater to those generations, company officials say.

The development would happen in an area that now includes the Vail Resorts shopyard, an empty lot that until a few years ago was a gas station, a strip mall and an office building.

“It’s (currently) not the most sightly aspect of the (Vail) experience,” said Chris Jarnot, chief operating officer for Vail Resorts.

The earliest the project could start is 2009, when the frontage road would be realigned to run alongside the interstate. After that, a parking garage would be constructed. There is expected to be over 1,000 public parking spaces in the project, according to company officials.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

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