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Minturn may send RV park to voters

Tamara Miller

The Minturn Town Council may put a controversial recreational vehicle park to a vote of residents this November. But several things must happen to make that possible, and they must happen quickly. Staff with Rocky Mountain RV Resorts, the developer, gave the council a new look Wednesday night at their proposal, which contains a general outline of what would be built at the park and how they plan to deal with the visual and noise impacts. But no specific business outline has been presented yet, making some Minturnites skeptical.”Would you be ready by November?” asked Woody Woodruff, a Minturn property owner. Councilmen Jerry Bumgarner and Tom Sullivan said they need a reliable business proposal before they will even consider putting the RV park to a public vote.”We have to know what we are putting on the ballot,” Sullivan said. Nevertheless, officials with Rocky Mountain RV Resorts seem determined to get their park on the ballot.

Previous proposals were for the resort had 110 RV sites and about 40 cabins. Now the company is proposing 75 to 85 RV sites and 32 to 35 cabins. There are also plans for a recreation center that could be used by resort guests and Minturn residents, and a community pavilion.Developers envision the RV park attracting “relatively affluent” customers. Robin Eldridge, managing partner for the RV resort company, repeatedly assured the council Minturn’s park would not serve as an affordable housing community or a long-term rental complex for construction workers.”The average cost per rig is about $250,000,” Eldridge said, adding that the clientele he expects Minturn’s park to attract would be driving high-end RVs costing up to $1 million.RV users spend an average of $89 per day while traveling, Eldridge said, adding he expects the customers heading to Minturn to pend up to double that amount. “This would attract higher-end users,” he said. As in previous proposals, the developer plans to pay for the entire project. Previous proposal were estimated to cost about $10 million.The cabins would be on permanent foundations and would be one-, two- or three-bedroom units. The development would also have two “family lodges”, each with about eight bedrooms, a kitchenette and a living room. There also will be a pavilion, similar to the Donovan Park Pavilion in Vail. The hope is the resort would attract anniversaries, weddings and other events, Eldridge said. Selling it to the public”This is a different concept then previously discussed,” said Pam Bard, who also is working with Rocky Mountain RV Resorts on the project. “We want to create an experience for the guests that will show up in travel (magazines).”There would be an on-site manager’s apartment located above the rental office, two buildings with restrooms and laundry facilities and a recreation center. The center would be used by guests and Minturn residents, who will pay a reduced rate to use the facility. Similar to the Avon Recreation Center, nonresidents would have to pay a higher rate to use the center. “We haven’t finalized the details,” Bard said. The developer wants to work with Minturn residents on the recreation center, Bard added. The town plans to lease the park land to Rocky Mountain RV Resorts. Minturn would receive sales tax revenues from rentals and purchases made at the park, as well as any business RV park visitors generate from shopping and eating at local shops and restaurants. A proposed lease agreement hasn’t been submitted yet, nor have the developers provided a breakdown of how much money the RV park could make for the town. Bard said those details are still being worked out and a plan will be submitted before the Town Council’s Aug. 18 meeting.Ultimately, it is Rocky Mountain RV Resorts’ responsibility to provide the public with enough information to convince voters to support the project, Councilman Darell Wegert said.”If I don’t know enough by that time, I know how I’ll vote,” he said. Staff writer Tamara Miller, based in Vail, Colorado, can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or tmiller@vaildaily.com.


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