Minturn blocks Vail worker parking idea
MINTURN ” An incensed Minturn Town Council Wednesday rejected a plan to create a parking lot in town for construction employees working in Vail.
Developer R.A. Nelson ” on behalf of Vail Resorts and Slifer, Smith and Frampton Real Estate ” asked Minturn to approve a 90-space lot on N. Railroad Avenue, about one-quarter mile south of Dowd Junction on Union Pacific railroad property.
Employees would have been shuttled from the lot to the Gore Creek Place construction site instead of parking in Lionshead at $16 per day during the winter. Parking costs are normally passed on to the three companies by contractors, R.A. Nelson representatives said.
Minturn would have been paid $125 by R.A. Nelson for a business license.
Minturn businessman Harry Gray said the town would be subsidizing the three company’s profit margins if the town didn’t receive compensation for the lot.
“Let’s establish a real value and let Minturn get paid for it,” Gray said.
If Minturn charged a market value similar to that of Lionshead, the 90-space structure would bring in over $1,400 per day.
Some in attendance were bitter to learn Vail Resorts was involved.
“I can’t think of one thing the town of Vail or Vail Resorts has done for us,” business owner Randy Milhoan said. “I think the taxpayers of Minturn deserve to have the council look at this.”
Councilman Darell Wegert said he likes the town of Vail, but not Vail Resorts.
Mayor Gordon “Hawkeye” Flaherty and Councilman Jerry Bumgarner were the only members to approve the lot.
“We haven’t put restrictions on other businesses with permits on railroad property,” Bumgarner said. “We don’t have any right to charge them fair market value of what parking costs in Vail.”
The thought of payment in return raised more concerns for Councilman George Brodin.
“If they were to sweeten the pot, I’m afraid what that would make us,” Brodin said.
Councilman Tom Sullivan was concerned with aesthetics.
“I’m mortified that this is what we’d want as our front door,” he said.
The additional parking could create traffic problems at the intersection of N. Railroad Avenue and Highway 24, said Police
Chief Lorenzo Martinez. Car break-ins and abandoned vehicles at the lot were also concerns of his.
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14622, or firstname.lastname@example.org.