Pick a plan, Vail
Vail, Colorado CO
This advice merits repeating: Whichever bid wins, Vail should rebuild the Lionshead parking structure now.
The devil’s in the details, of course, and the town has a formidable task in getting to all of them. But East West Partners and the Texas group proposing to make something beautiful and better out of a butt ugly garage have both turned in compelling plans.
Those stray calls to wait frankly are nutty. Wait for what? Why not get all the major rebuilding done now rather than drag it out even longer, as waiting would do?
And why risk the chance, however slight from today’s vantage, that no one will be interested years down the road, leaving Vail with one big tab?
Choose Open Hospitality Partners/Hillwood Capital Group or the hometown developers, but choose one and get this vital piece of Vail done.
Both groups also offered to rebuild Timber Ridge as all affordable housing, East West putting details and sketches into their proposal. The town might have made a mistake shrugging those offers off as separate from terms of the bids. But with hints hanging of a third proposal lurking, town leaders can be excused for wanting to keep the process as clean as possible.
They do need to make sure they are being absolutely fair to the two groups bidding, whether they choose one or none. Just the process runs up rather mind-boggling bills.
There’s another aspect to this that might tilt the table. East West ” whose principal, Harry Frampton lives in Vail ” has a lot more experience with building successful projects in the mountains. This fact may not seem fair to our local conspiracy gossips, even though it’s an important and obvious factor. Unfair as it may seem, the Texas group must have a significantly better plan to overcome East West’s experience. At least we believe so.
It looks like a relative tie, to us. That leaves the town to sort through the details, then make a choice. We urge them to choose one, and keep Vail moving forward.