Ice rink, bowling alley narrowly approved
VAIL ” Ice skating, bowling, movie theaters and condos ” all in a 100-foot-tall building ” finally has its approval from Vail.
Council members gave the final OK to the Crossroads project at its Tuesday meeting by a 4-3 vote, 19 months after the proposal was first submitted to the town.
The building will have 69 condos, a public plaza with a skating rink, a 10-lane bowling alley, a three-screen movie theater, stores and restaurants.
Now, the project only needs approval from the town’s design board. Construction on the project, which will be called “Solaris” ” not Crossroads ” could start by spring of 2007.
This type of project is the only way Vail will get a movie theater and a bowling alley, which figure to operate at a loss, said councilman Greg Moffet, who voted ‘yes’ along with council members Mark Gordon, Farrow Hitt and Kim Newbury.
“(The movie theater and bowling alley) would never occur ever on their own in this town with real estate values what they are,” he said.
But councilman Kent Logan, who voted ‘no’ along with Mayor Rod Slifer and Councilman Kevin Foley, said the town is allowing developer Peter Knobel to build too much valuable condo space. He also said there’s no plan to ensure the extra parking spaces will help the town’s parking problems.
“I sort of feel like the Indians that sold Manhattan Island for a couple of bags of beads and a sack of potatoes, because that’s the deal that the town of Vail is getting tonight,” he said.
The vote attracted a nearly full house in council chambers. Opponents objected to the project’s design and size.
“We’ve decided that what Vail really needs is to become more lifeless and sterile like Beaver Creek, Keystone and Copper Mountain,” said Jonathan Staufer of Vail.
But Vail resident Kell Purcell, manager of Haagen-Dazs in the existing Crossroads building, said his customers will want the amenities that the project will bring.
“They feel that the town has not become as family friendly as it could be, and they look forward to this development,” he said.
Knobel has said the project will create a more lively Vail Village by providing activities for families. “We will follow through on making this the best project Vail has seen,” Knobel said after the vote.
Last summer, Knobel pulled the proposal off the table after the council voted against the proposal. Crossroads figured prominently in last November’s election, which saw two opponents of the proposal voted off the Town Council. Knobel resubmitted the project after the election.
Under an agreement with the town, the Crossroads developer will also pay for heated sidewalks, streetscape improvements for surrounding roads, a new median on South Frontage Road, employee housing, $442,000 to offset traffic impacts and $1.1 million in public art.
The project could still go to voters in an election if opponents gather signatures from 10 percent of voters in the next 30 days. It was unclear Tuesday night if opponents are planning to challenge Knobel.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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