Glenwood car dealership plans go over well this time |

Glenwood car dealership plans go over well this time

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” After a harsh review early in the year, revised plans for three auto dealerships to replace two demolished hotels got mostly positive comments from the City Council Thursday.

In January, one City Councilor called an older version of the plans “mundane” and others criticized things like the color and visual impact of the buildings. But the revised plans seemed to go over much better.

“I’d like to compliment you. I think that this design looks really nice,” said Councilor Kris Chadwick.

Councilor Russ Arensman said, “I think it’s a big improvement from the second time around although I still miss the concept of a three-in-one dealership that I guess was not meant to be.”

Among the positive changes, he said, were plans to share a driveway with the Village Green Apartments behind the site, and the use of different materials and colors to “break up the monotony.”

Councilor Dave Merritt said he likes the architectural and landscaping work that the developers have done. Councilor Dave Sturges complimented the roof line and overall visual impact. He said, “I like the way you’ve broken up the mass.”

Ron Liston, representing Glenwood Springs Real Estate Automotive and Vista Automotive Group, said one big change from older plans is that the buildings were moved forward on the site to reduce the amount of for-sale cars on the side of the street. Instead, the mass of the parking would be behind the buildings.

“We think we can create an extremely attractive streetscape experience,” he said.

Other changes from previous plans include earth toned masonry and building colors with more stylish building design features, the shared driveway with the Village Green Apartments, which would go around the east side of the buildings, and a low screening wall plus improvements like increased landscaping to make the site look better from the street.

Vista Automotive Group purchased the 1st Choice Inns for $4.9 million and the Budget Host motel for $1.3 million last year and demolished them to make way for the planned dealerships. If approved, plans call for a 22,349 square-foot Honda dealership and a 21,722 square-foot building housing both Subaru and Nissan dealerships. They would go on the 5.7 acre site where the hotels used to be, immediately west of Vista’s pre-owned auto sales facility nearby.

Vista donated an undisclosed amount to Catholic Charities to help people displaced from the demolished hotel rooms.

The City Council did not take formal action. The plans were presented as a “conceptual review” only to gather feedback and they must still get further approval.

Also during Thursday’s meeting, the City Council voted 6-1 to remove most remaining structures from the city’s rodeo grounds and begin looking at using the land for other possibilities. Some councilors said the grounds have fallen into poor condition and the small amount of use the grounds see doesn’t justify the upkeep.

The traditional Strawberry Days Rodeo was canceled this summer due to the rodeo grounds’ worsening conditions.

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