Multi-million-dollar deals ahead for new leaders
VAIL ” The new Vail council will have to negotiate complex agreements involving multi-million-dollar developments, large pieces of town-owned land and lots of employee housing. The deals are all interconnected through Vail Resorts ” who also runs the ski mountain and is the largest employer in town.
The facets of the puzzle include:
– Vail Resorts owes the town 144 employee beds because of the Arrabelle at Vail Square project and other projects it is building around Vail. The Arrabelle ” a $150 million hotel-condo-retail complex set to open next month ” isn’t allowed to open until the company has a plan on how to satisfy that obligation.
– Vail Resorts has offered to lease and rebuild Timber Ridge ” the 10-acre, town-owned employee housing complex ” to satisfy its requirements. However, the town recently said that proposal is inadequate.
– Meanwhile, another developer, a Texas group led in part by Ross Perot Jr., the son of the former presidential candidate, has offered to rebuild Timber Ridge with more than twice as many beds. The group, Open Hospitality Partners/Hillwood Capital, wants to rebuild it as part of its planned redevelopment of the Lionshead parking structure.
– Open Hospitality Partners/Hillwood Capital wants to rebuild the Lionshead parking structure into a $600 million complex with hotels, a conference center, condos, timeshares, parking, shops and restaurants. The land is now owned by the town ” which must approve the project ” but Vail Resorts holds “protective covenants” on the land, which means VR must also give its approval for the Lionshead project to proceed.
– A third public parking structure ” the one planned for the Ever Vail project in West Lionshead ” must be finished before the Lionshead parking structure can get torn down.
– Vail Resorts’ $1 billion Ever Vail project, a “green” ski village that is supposed to surround a new gondola, needs town approvals.
– Vail wants a new “transit center,” or bus station, in Lionshead. The Vail Resorts-owned North Day Lot has been identified as a good place for it, but the station is now part of the Open/Hillwood’s plan for the redeveloped Lionshead parking structure.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.