No one wins in this one
No one benefits from the stand-off between the town of Vail and Vail Resorts.
But it’s clear that the already volatile relationship between the two entites has deteriorated in recent months. And rather than attempting to negotiate a compromise that will acheive what both want ” a modern, revitalized Lionshead with more parking ” Vail Resort and the Town Council seem to be engaged in a public shoving match.
In the latest battle in the war between the two, the town has vowed to withhold approval of Vail Resort’s grand plans for Ever Vail in West Lionshead unless the ski company lifts its “deed restriction” on the Lionshead garage land.
So now we have two projects that are being held hostage, instead of just one. In the meantime, time continues to pass without any meaningful solution to Vail’s parking woes in sight.
There has to be a better way.
Vail Resorts does have a legitimate interest in making sure the Texas developer’s plan for the Lionshead parking structure are solid. The town doesn’t have the authority to let Vail Resorts take a peek at the developer’s financial records, but the onus is on the town and developer Open/Hillwood to strengthen the argument that the parking garage can and will be redeveloped without losing any parking in the interim.
In the meantime, we are very skeptical about the town’s threat to withhold approval of one project to open the door for another project. At the very least, the town’s public threat simply puts Vail and Vail Resorts farther away from an agreement. At worst, the threat smells very much like blackmail.
We encourage Vail Resorts to seriously consider lifting the deed restriction on the Lionshead parking garage, and to provide reasonable demands that the town or the developer can meet to ensure that the redevelopment will be successful. We also encourage the town to let Ever Vail weave its way through the town’s approval process naturally. If there are concerns about Vail Resorts’ parking plans for Ever Vail, the town should address them in its review.
One thing Vail and Vail Resorts can agree on is that Vail Mountain skiers need more places to park. If both sides can agree to keep that goal in sight, we’re confident that the town of Vail and the ski resort of Vail will benefit.