Ever Vail outlook positive for Vail
VAIL, Colorado – Town of Vail consultants said Tuesday that Vail Resorts’ proposed Ever Vail project would have significant positive financial impacts for the town of Vail.The Vail Town Council listened to a nearly 2 hour presentation about Ever Vail’s fiscal and economic impacts to the town of Vail, yet left the meeting with some unanswered questions about the project remaining.Ever Vail, Vail Resorts’ $1 billion project that would add retail space, a new gondola onto Vail Mountain, a specialty grocery store, a four-star hotel, affordable housing units and public parking to the western portion of Lionshead, has been in the town’s approval process since 2007. Vail Resorts submitted a revised application to the town last month, making some adjustments to the project including a reduction in the amount of retail space proposed.Consultants Andrew Knudtsen and Brian Duffany, of Economic & Planning Systems, presented a variety of numbers that showed positive impacts to both the town and other businesses, except for about a 1 percent decline in revenues to West Vail retailers, specifically the two grocery stores there.”In most cases and in total, the net dollar flows to existing retail areas are positive,” consultants said in their analysis.Knudtsen and Duffany also estimate substantial one-time revenues to the town from construction use tax and permit fees, with phase one bringing in about $9.3 million and phase two bringing about $5.1 million.An additional $4.7 million in phase one and $3 million in phase two is also expected in real estate transfer taxes.Ever Vail is proposed to be built in three phases, the first being the realignment of the South Frontage Road so it runs parallel to Interstate 70 in west Lionshead. There would then be two development phases of the project, with the eastern portion of the property built first, followed by the western portion.The phasing plans are expected to have positive financial impacts to the town, according to a Nov. 11 memo to the town from Knudtsen and Duffany, with phase one generating the most visitor spending once built. The largest impacts to the town’s services are expected to be on the town’s transit system, according to LSC Transportation Consultants, which studied the impacts. Consultants estimate the need for three new town buses, at a cost of $600,000 each, with annual operations costs around $111,000.The buses would likely be needed by the end of phase one’s construction.The Town Council asked Knudtsen and Duffany to come back with more specifics about new revenues once Ever Vail is built versus old revenues and some of the economic assumptions consultants have made. The consultants will also crunch some numbers on whether Ever Vail’s public parking could take away town revenue from its public parking structures. The town also questioned the methodology behind the assumption that 90 percent of guests at Ever Vail will be net new guests to the town of Vail – something council members asked consultants to elaborate on at a future meeting.
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