How about Vail’s CMC?
I have been following with interest the efforts by citizens of Eagle to keep a Colorado Mountain college facility in their town. However, I am also concerned about the Colorado Mountain College facility at Cascade Village in Vail. As the Vail Daily has well documented, CMC will be moving to their new building at Berry Creek 5th later this year. With the help of Eagle County and the local School District, CMC obtained 16 acres in Edwards at very favorable terms. CMC is being fiscally prudent by trying to offset some costs of their new building from the sale of the Cascade property. Currently, CMC is marketing their existing Vail facility, consisting of approximately 14,500 square feet in the CMC Building, for $3,850,000.
However, because of its extremely awkward and special purpose design and configuration (not to mention the lack of exterior walls for windows), it appears that the Cascade property will not be easily convertible to another use. It seems likely that deeply discounting the asking price may be necessary to attract a buyer. If indeed this is the case, CMC will realize only a relatively small sum from the eventual sale.
It is my opinion that a greater good can be served by somehow keeping the Cascade CMC property as a publicly- or non-profit-owned facility. It could house some of the many small nonprofit organizations in Eagle County; it could continue as a learning facility of some type; it could provide some “business incubator” office space; it could house arts organizations, etc. While the facility has its challenges (parking for one), it could become the home for several community-based organizations for a fraction of the cost of a new building.
Another factor that I think worth considering is the amount of taxes paid to the CMC district by residents and property owners within the Town of Vail. For the years 1980 (when the Cascade property was first conceived) through 2003, Vail property owners have paid over $32 million to CMC. In light of the generosity and spirit of cooperation provided to CMC by Eagle County and the School District, it seems fitting that the College reciprocate in some fashion by helping to make the Cascade property a continuing community asset.