Lionshead preview center has built-in buzz | VailDaily.com

Lionshead preview center has built-in buzz

Scott N. Miller

VAIL Vails newest real estate sales office opened this week, and, while people werent exactly waiting with their noses pressed against the windows, there was plenty of advance interest.Thanks to a bit of advance marketing, the Internet and plenty of word of mouth, the preview center for the new Arrabelle at Vail Square project in Lionshead will likely be a busy place as soon as it opens. Construction on the project is expected to start just after this ski season. When completed in 2007, the Arrabelle will be a combination of a Rock Resort luxury hotel and a 70-unit condominium complex.Potential buyers will be asked to part with a $100,000 deposit to reserve a condo in the complex, and units will start at roughly $1.3 million. In order to give customers as good a look as possible at the Arrabelle units, Vail Resorts Development Company and Slifer, Smith & Frampton have opened a preview center on the Lionshead Mall near the Gondola Building.Well have a full model of the Lionshead center and the Arrabelle complex, Slifer, Smith & Frampton broker Larry Peterson said.The models will give possible buyers a chance to see where individual units are in the complex, Peterson said.Beyond the models standard fare for real estate offices the preview center has some high-tech sales aids, too.Weve got five plasma-screen TVs, and people can use them as touch screens, Peterson said. The touch screens will let customers look at floor plans, outside views and interior finishes.Its really a state of the art presentation, Peterson said. Its unlike anything anybodys seen in this valley before.The preview center represents the end of a process thats taken nearly a year, said Jack Hunn, vice president of development for Vail Resorts Development Company.That process involves designers, real estate brokers and others to create a product that will appeal to people who can afford high-end vacation homes, he said. That product includes expensive appliances, floors and finishes, and represents what the developers have learned over several years of selling high-end real estate.Some of those lessons were learned from sales at the Gore Creek Place townhome project earlier this year. Buyers of those homes were offered several standard equipment packages, along with several options.The way buyers picked options at Gore Creek Place influenced the standard equipment at the Arrabelle, Hunn said. For instance, when several Gore Creek Place buyers chose the optional air conditioning, Vail Resorts Development decided to put air conditioning into every unit at the Arrabelle.And because the Arrabelle project is condos, buyers wont be able to make many changes beyond optional finishes, Hunn said.We will allow some custom changes, but well have a pretty strict timeline on those, Hunn said. Well allow some minor changes to floor plans, but only very early on, but we wont allow any structural changes.Buyers will be able to see virtually every option and change at the preview center before writing a deposit check. And there will probably be several of those checks written fairly early on.There seems to be plenty of interest in the Arrabelle project. The early success of Gore Creek Place was a good sign, Peterson said. There are already 11 buyers lined up for the 16-unit development along Gore Creek.Weve really been overwhelmed with the response, Peterson said. People have heard about it from friends, brokers and the Internet.That interest has been building for some time.This kind of started when the town of Vail put out its redevelopment map a few years ago, said Beverly Trout of Vail Lionshead Realty. When we knew for sure it was going to happen, and saw the models, people really started looking forward to it. For Trout, who has been in Vail since the 1970s, the Arrabelle project is a sign Lionshead might finally fulfill its potential.Lionshead never really reached the same kind of prominence as the village, Trout said. I think this is really going to spur a lot of properties to upgrade now.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 613, or smiller@vaildaily.com.Vail Daily, Vail Colorado