New hotel in Avon could add 185 rooms, 25 condos, 8 workforce units, if approved | VailDaily.com

New hotel in Avon could add 185 rooms, 25 condos, 8 workforce units, if approved

AVON — The town planning commission on Tuesday, Feb. 6, recommended rezoning a U.S. Highway 6 parcel at the edge of town to make way for a new hotel and condominium project.

The now-vacant land is known as the Folson Property for its former owner, Craig Folson, who recently sold the parcel to Colorado World Resorts. Colorado World Resorts is now dedicated to developing the property, said architect Greg Macik with TAB Associates, a local firm which has been hired by Colorado World Resorts to assist with design. The company's vision is a 315,000 square-foot building with 185 hotel rooms, 25 condos and a restaurant, and after some back-and-forth with the Avon Planning Commission in work sessions in 2017, the commission Tuesday approved on a 3-2 vote a recommendation that the parcel be rezoned to allow the development plan.

"The last time we saw it, we had concerns about the tunnel effect," said commissioner Steve Nusbaum, in reference to the building's proximity to Highway 6. "I think pushing it back, with some landscaping, I think eliminates that concern for me."

In asking for the rezoning, Macik said Colorado World Resorts would "put more restrictions on ourselves" by creating a 40-foot setback rather than a 10-foot setback from the road, in order to reduce the tunnel effect along the highway.

The rezone would also allow for a taller building, however, which could top out at 95 feet at the highest point. This was a point of contention for commissioner Jared Barnes, who chaired Tuesday's meeting.

"I don't see how that isn't going to dwarf the Ascent property immediately next to it," Barnes said in voting against the recommendation to rezone.

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The existing zoning would allow for a building that is 60 feet tall, Barnes pointed out.

"That's a 58 percent increase in what would be allowed under existing zoning," he said.

HOTEL ROOMS AND CONDOS

The project as described by Macik to the commission would be a 315,000 square-foot structure with 210 units — a mix of condos and hotel units — with two levels of structured parking and one surface parking lot.

"We do have a restaurant and some commercial space in there, for various uses," Macik said. "Some of the discussions have been art gallery, ski shop, things like that."

The development plan presented on Tuesday called for a maximum square footage of 350,000 feet, with the building's footprint being no larger than 42,737 square feet.

Macik said eight on-site employee units are also being considered for the development plan.

Now HEADS FOR Town COUNCIL

Development would occur on 16.3 percent of the entire 21-acre Folson Property, Macik said. The remaining area would be open space. Also envisioned for the project are trails accessing the Gypsum Bluff area near the entrance to Beaver Creek, as well as an Eagle-Vail overlook area, with a conservation easement protecting that land from future development.

"There's a lot of conversations about what else we could do with that trail system," Macik said. "We could further develop that and maybe even connect with some trails that are up on top."

A welcome center with some public parking would accompany the trailhead, Macik said.

In addition to the trails, Macik said the long-term economic gains of the project would include an extension of the pedestrian pathway along Highway 6. That's something the neighboring community of Eagle-Vail would welcome, said one resident who lives directly east of the property and spoke at Tuesday's public hearing.

"There's a whole complex there that has no way to get to the roundabout or across Highway 6," the resident said. "A walkway to get to those residents would go a long way."

The rezoning application now heads to the Avon Town Council for review.

WHO OWNS THE PROPERTY?

Colorado World Resorts describes itself as a family owned and operated company which has been in Denver for more than 25 years. The company is an approved Hilton Hotel brand builder and operator and has worked with Ramada, Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Suites, Fairfield Inn and Suites, Microtel, Wingate, Clarion and Super 8 and IHG Hotels.