New Vail transit center coming to Lionshead? |

New Vail transit center coming to Lionshead?

Ian Smith
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Hybrid Buses DT 8-13-08

VAIL, Colorado –Skiers could be snapping up their boots in a much different Lionshead in the future.

The town of Vail voted to continue studying the feasibility of a Lionshead transit center at its Town Council meeting Tuesday night. A consultant, 4240 Architecture, showed the council 10 options to improve Lionshead, but recommended three of those to look at closer. The council voted to pursue those recommendations.

One recommendation from the consultants is to build a full transit center on the top deck of the Lionshead parking garage. The option is the most expensive of the three and would be a long-term solution for up to 20 years.

The initial plans forthe scenario would provide room for 10-12 buses on the top deck of the Lionshead parking garage. The system would act similar to the one currently in place in the Vail Village parking structure. The new proposal also calls for a pedestrian bridge from the middle deck of the parking structure to help skiers access the Lionshead gondola and a roundabout to be built on the south frontage road.

The scenario, called “4A,” is the most expensive of the three the design team will study further, and construction costs are estimated at $16-20 million. The large-scale project would qualify for federal and state funding.

“I think ‘4A’ is the best scenario ultimately,” Councilman Andy Daly said.

Not all council members agreed with Daly.

“I think we are trying to fit a square peg in a round hole,” said Councilwoman Kim Newbury. “I’m not a big fan of ‘4A’. I’ll let the (design team) go forward with their schematic changes and see where it goes.”

One of the drawbacks of “4A” is the loss of 120-140 parking spots on the top deck of Lionshead. The design team said those spots could be added elsewhere if needed.

Although “4A” is considered the best option, Vail is also exploring smaller-scale projects that would allow the town to build the transit center incrementally.

The cheapest of the options to be given the green light, called “1B” includes adding traffic officers to the help pedestrians and keeping cars moving in the right direction.

The plan would also allow the town to add to the parking structure in the future and has a price tag of about $3.2-3.7 million in construction costs.

The last option the 4240 Architecture Team will study further is a scenario that includes all the “1B” improvements and adds four ECO bus bays on the north side of the Lionshead parking structure. The scenario has plans for a pedestrian bridge.

The council members will hear from the 4240 Architecture Team at a future meeting.

Staff Writer Ian Smith can be reached at or at 748-2928.

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