Reservations pour in for Lionshead condos |

Reservations pour in for Lionshead condos

Scott N. Miller
Special to the DailyProspective Lionshead condominium owners line for the Monday's lottery for units at Vail Resorts' Arabelle project, which will replace the old gondola building.

VAIL Like a lot of words, frenzy tends to be over-used. So while there might not have been an actual, Gucci-garment-rending frenzy during Mondays lottery for 52 condominium units at the Arrabelle at Vail Square project in Lionshead, there was sure plenty of interest.

How much interest? Well, 150 people were willing to write $100,000 checks for just one condo at the 67-unit Arrabelle, which, along with other buildings, will replace the old gondola building. In all, 573 people wrote checks for $100,000 each to reserve a unit. Demand kind of exceeded supply.To give potential buyers a shot at buying an Arrabelle condo, Slifer Smith & Frampton and Vail Resorts Development Company held a lottery to establish a pecking order. Even the lottery was overwhelmed.The drawing was supposed to begin at 4 p.m. Monday at the Marriott. Then 200 reservations and checks came in Monday alone. That forced a delay, and a new auction hall, to accommodate the crowd. We had to move to the Lodge at Vail because there wasnt enough room at the Marriott, said Paul Witt, the spokesman for the Arrabelle project. When we finally got going, there were probably 300 people in the room. It was nearly midnight by the time the whole thing was over and a pecking order was established for every unit, because not every reservation will turn into a contract, nor will every contract close. That means, in theory, the person who drew the 150th spot for the most popular condo still has a shot, albeit a slim one, at landing the unit.Even in the first lottery, though, odds of landing a unit were pretty steep. Rod Slifer, Vails mayor and one of the owners of the company selling the Arrabelle, put his name into the lottery and didnt get a unit. I thought we might downsize in a few years, said Slifer, who lives with his family in Vail Village.The Arrabelle units are going to be new, in a rapidly-changing part of Vail, which was attractive to Slifer. And, he said, Thats about as far west as we wanted to go.The project was obviously attractive to other buyers, too, which was something of an open question when work started on both the Arrabelle and, before that, Gore Creek Place, an eight-building, 16-unit townhome project along the creek just west of the Marriott. Those townhomes carry price tags of between $3 million and $5 million.As of this week, all the townhomes are under contract.Witt said contracts on the Arrabelle units should start coming in over the course of the next month or two.Its not 100 percent, but its very likely well start construction in April, he said.While Slifer didnt get an Arrabelle unit, he expressed some amazement at the demand for new real estate in Vail.We havent really had a quantity of new product in Vail since the 1970s, Slifer said. I think we have a measure of the demand for new product now.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 613, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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