Luxurious plans for Vail garage |

Luxurious plans for Vail garage

Special to the DailyThe current Lionshead structure, built in 1981, has 1,100 public parking spaces, but is in need of significant repairs.

VAIL ” Two developers have big ideas for the Lionshead parking structure.

East West Partners of Avon and Open Hospitality Partners/Hillwood Capital of Dallas each submitted proposals for hotels, condos and parking on the site of the garage. The town of Vail will review the proposals, but isn’t committing to doing anything.

“We’re not selecting anyone to do anything at this point,” said Stan Zemler, Vail’s town manager. “We’re making a decision on whether we want to proceed to the next step.”

The Dallas group wants to put a W Hotel and a St. Regis hotel on the site. The proposal also includes condos, timeshares, restaurants and stores.

The proposal would also have about 400 to 700 more public parking spaces than what’s there now, said Mark Masinter of Open Hospitality Group.

Each hotel would have more than 100 hotel rooms. The W would also have condos, and the St. Regis would have condos and timeshares.

W is a “boutique” hotel with 19 locations. St. Regis is a luxury hotel chain that’s the oldest hotel brand in North America. Those hotel brands have already formally committed to being a part of the plan, the developer said.

In the plan, there is also space for an unidentified “public amenity.”

“We’re about 80 percent finished with that thought right now,” Masinter said. “It’s not fully baked yet.”

The proposal also includes an information center for the town of Vail.

The group may ask for tax increment funding from the town, Masinter said.

Hillwood Capital is a division of Hillwood, whose chairman is Ross Perot Jr., son of the former presidential candidate. The company developed the $420 million American Airlines Center and Victory complex near downtown Dallas.

East West Partners of Avon, the other group that’s vying to redevelop the complex, proposes parking, a 148-room hotel, 50 timeshares and 132 condos for the site.

In addition, the proposal includes stores, restaurants, 13 employee housing units, a fitness center/spa, office space and an information center for the town of Vail. Another aspect of the East West proposal is a 25,000-square-foot meeting space.

The publicly funded conference center rejected by voters in November had 40,000 square feet of meeting space.

East West’s proposal is called “One Vail.”

In the proposal, East West does not identify specific brands of hotels for the site, although it does say it has good relationships with such brands as Ritz-Carlton and Park Hyatt.

East West actually has three different plans for the space, plans that differ only by the amount of parking offered. The parking offered ranges from 1,150 to 1,414 spaces.

The plans with more parking will require tax increment funding from the town of Vail, East West said.

Nonprofit office space is included in the proposal, plus space for the Youth Recreation Center and the Colorado Mental Health center, which are in the current Lionshead garage.

The proposal would have a maximum height of 82.5 feet and a maximum average height of 71 feet, the proposal said. East West said it would begin construction in April 2008.

East West is developing the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon and has developed Eagle Ranch in Eagle and the Park Hyatt Resort and Spa in Beaver Creek.

Both developers had to get a letter of acceptance from Vail Resorts, because the resort company holds covenants on the land that dictate its use.

The town issued the request for proposals on May 10. Eight developers expressed interest, but that number was reduced to two contenders after last Wednesday’s deadline for an outline of their plans and a list of their qualifications.

A review team, comprised of the Town Council and members of the planning commission and the design board, will go over the proposals July 18.

Zemler emphasized that the town could choose not to proceed with one or either of the proposals.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or

Vail, Colorado

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