Making Vail’s fountain dance |

Making Vail’s fountain dance

Theo Stroomer/Vail DailyJuan Calzadillas, background, studies the paths of streams of water as Sergio Debia, foreground, makes adjustments at the new fountain at Seibert Circle in Vail on Thursday. The fountain, several years in the making, is nearing completion.

VAIL, Colorado ” Andrea Silva huddled over computers outside the Tap Room, choreographing Seibert Circle as she would a ballet.

“Typically it’s more like a song or a story, where there’s an introduction that moves to a climax, then a conclusion,” said Silva, a senior project designer for WET Design, the California company that also created the fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.

Water leaped in parabolas. It cascaded over an edge. It shot up from the center of the pool. And at night, fire is supposed to erupt from the center.

Those features make for plenty of ways for Silva to arrange the two four-minute programs that she will come up with for the new Seibert Circle fountain.

“We want to try to create the most interesting show we can,” she said.

Workers from WET Design were putting the finishing touches on the fountain Thursday and hope to have it totally finished by this weekend.

Officials from the town and WET Design envision the fountain as a focal point for the pedestrian street that leads to the ski mountain.

“It’s water. People are attracted to water,” said Sergio Debia, field technician for WET Design.

“And then, when you combine that with using it as a medium to do things people haven’t seen so much, it makes it even more intriguing,” Silva said.

Silva will design the program on her computer and then transfer it to the brains of the fountain, which are housed in a closet-sized cabinet of wires and computers hidden behind a newspaper rack.

On Thursday, Silva was controlling the fountains from computers set up on a small table, making, for instance, the smooth parabolas of water grow and shrink.

“If I ramp these down to a lower pressure,” she said, tapping a few keys, “you’ll start to see the decrease in size.”

WET Design tries to make each fountain it designs fit into the area. For Vail, it used stone that’s prevalent in local architecture. And each feature is representative of natural Colorado ” the flames represent a campfire, the cascading water represents a stream and the arcs represent mountains.

The fountain has endured years of discussion and months of delays.

The cost of the project is $1.7 million ” that includes repaving the street and adding snow-melt equipment. The town is paying $1.3 million, with Vail Resorts and private donors contributing the rest.

Local businessmen Ron Riley and Alan Kosloff led a fundraising campaign to fund part of the fountain’s cost.

The fountain replaces a $150,000 sculpture by Jesus Moroles, which some Vail leaders said was not compatible with the village’s Bavarian style.

Steve Kaufman, owner of the Tap Room, said the fountain will be a nice addition to Bridge Street.

“We’re looking forward to having this thing running,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or

Support Local Journalism

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User