Ever Vail seen as help for parking problems | VailDaily.com

Ever Vail seen as help for parking problems

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS EverVail Open House DT 2-11-09

VAIL, Colorado ” The plan is for people, buses, cars and bikes to flow smoothly through Ever Vail, a new ski village planned by Vail Resorts.

The proposed project in West Lionshead promises about 1,000 public parking spaces, a variety of on-site employee housing, a new gondola to Eagle’s Nest, bike paths, and a straighter, nicer Frontage Road. Representatives from the project outlined details of the project’s transportation features at a community meeting Wednesday night.

Public parking has been one of the town’s top concerns as the project goes through the review process, and many local residents also said they wanted to see the project improve Vail’s parking situation.

The project would have two parking structures, which would provide 1,500 parking spaces. About 500 of those would belong to private clubs, leaving the rest for skier, shopper and diner parking, said Tom Miller, director of development for Vail Resorts Development Co.

Plans also call for straightening the Frontage Road, which would add two new roundabouts, a new road with two lanes in each direction separated by a median, and room for bike lanes in the summer. The project would also have three skier drop-off sites with 30-minute parking spots and a covered transportation center for buses.

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“I like the way they’re handling transportation,” said Eagle-Vail resident Sol Boutet. “This may be part of an interim solution to Vail’s parking problem.”

Miller assured residents that workforce housing ” ranging from dorm-style apartments to deed-restricted family homes ” would be built along with the project, creating a year-round community.

Vail resident Wendy Erb said that she worries housing for the project will lag behind, as was the case with the Arrabelle at Vail Square in Lionshead. The project opened last winter, despite not having employee housing built. She added that she’s confident that Ever Vail will be a high quality project.

To create a community, the housing needs to be truly affordable, said Edwards resident Wendy Feldmen.

“If you build it, people come,” she said. “We need affordable housing. That’s what sustains an area. Let’s get people to live here again.”

Others see the project as a good business opportunity, especially in a time when Vail’s building boom is winding down. Angelo Nieves, who works for a stone and masonry subcontractor, said he hopes Ever Vail will be built.

“If this goes forward, it will bring more tourism and more to the economy,” he said.

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or mwong@vaildaily.com.

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