Plans underway to save Arrowhead skier lot
Arrowhead, CO Colorado
ARROWHEAD, Colorado ” Some groups rally to save open space, and others to preserve western heritage, but a group of Arrowhead, Colorado residents have plans to save a parking lot, using money from a tax increase passed on Tuesday.
The 5-acre, 250-space lot in Arrowhead is owned by Vail Resorts, and is used as free skier parking by both Arrowhead and other local residents during the winter.
Vail Resorts Development Co. said it had plans to build an 80-condo project with underground parking on the site earlier this year. The project would mean that at least part of the parking would be lost during construction, and the new garage might not be public parking.
Arrowhead residents passed a bond issue on Tuesday to raise $9.5 million in order to buy the lot. The goal would be to keep the lot as it is, and open to both Arrowhead and local residents, said metro district president Bill Maxwell.
“When we have good snow, (the lot is) definitely packed,” Maxwell said. “It has been a great resource for Arrowhead.”
The metro district has not discussed the sale with Vail Resorts, but Maxwell said discussions will start in the “near future.” The lot would remain free parking, although the metro district does not rule out a small fee in the future.
However, Vail Resorts has not made any plans so far to talk to residents about the sale, said Michael Brekka, vice-president of Vail Resorts Development. In fact, the Arrowhead Design Review Committee approved plans for the project on Thursday.
“We’re aware of the vote, and we haven’t talked to anyone about selling the property,” Brekka said. He said he could not comment on whether or not the company would be willing to sell the property.
The lot is widely used, and not only by skiers, said Arrowhead resident Bert Solomon, who headed up the ballot-issue committee.
The lot is used by people coming to the tennis courts, guests of condo owners, and visitors to the Country Club of the Rockies and the Alpine Club, which are all located nearby.
“I park there when I want to go for a hike up Arrowhead mountain. It’s used year-round,” Solomon said.
Besides saving the lot, some Arrowhead residents also said they didn’t like the idea of a condominium project on the spot.
“Residents were very unhappy with the (potential) impact to their quality of life,” Maxwell said. “This has always been a parking lot. (The project) would create an awful lot of construction over the next 36 months. In the end, the project would have 79 units. That’s an awful lot of condos for that space.”
Solomon agreed that he doesn’t want to see a project of that density in Arrowhead.
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or email@example.com.