RV park needs more work, county says | VailDaily.com

RV park needs more work, county says

Corey Reynolds
Special to the DailyThe site plan for the Vail Valley RV Resort that a developer wants to build in Dotsero.

DOTSERO The Eagle County commissioners concerns about the size and visual impact of a proposed $12 to $13 million, 240-site RV park in Dotsero have sent its developers back to the drawing board. Following a lengthy hearing last week, the commissioners decided to hold off on a vote on the Vail Valley RV Resort until Aug. 15. That delay will allow the developer time to modify its plans to make the proposal more palatable for commissioners. Im concerned with its compatibility with the surrounding land, said Commissioner Peter Runyon. Im concerned with the visual impact.Over the past few years, the developer, Rocky Mountain RV Resorts, has presented plans for a similar RV park to the towns of Minturn and Gypsum, both of which denied the proposal. The latest proposed park would be located on Highway 6, south of I-70, in Dotsero nestled on the Eagle River, a short distance above its confluence with the Colorado River. Despite landscaping and other features, county officials expressed concern that the 35-acre park would be too large and visible from the interstate. And even after granting their approval for the project, some planning commissioners publicly worried what such a development would look like at the gateway to Eagle County.Commissioner Arn Menconi said he worries about the long-term effect a large RV park could have in an area where land is becoming increasingly sought after.Is this the type of development that we ultimately are looking for as more and more people are moving downvalley? he asked.But Vail Valley RV Resort planners insist that the proposal would actually clean up the current eyesore use of the land (formerly used for a logging business), and improve the view from the highway because the park would be hidden by landscaping.Skip Ahern of Rocky Mountain RV Resorts said the park would include three neighborhood facilities, with laundry, showers, and restrooms, along with a community building, a recreation facility, a swimming pool, and 12 cabins.This is the ‘Mariott or Hyatt of RV parks, Ahren said. Were in the hotel business, but the guest brings his own room.Rocky Mountain RV Resorts also operates parks in Golden, Estes Park, and Grand Junction.Steve Isom, a planner with Isom & Associates who represented Ahren, said that the RV industry is growing rapidly as the baby-boomers turn 60. But Rusty Mosher, owner of the River Dance RV Park between Gypsum and Dotsero, questions the demand for another RV park in the area.This is not an RV mecca, Mosher said.Mosher said his RV park is usually only about 50 percent full, that there are five major facilities within 25 miles of this proposed park, and that no one looking to camp has been turned away to date.Ahern and Isom said the amenities of the Vail Valley RV Park will draw travelers in. Isom said the average RV vacationer spends $79 a day in the communities they are visiting, and stays for an average of five days. If those 240 sites fill up every night, thats over $500,000 a month of potential spending in the county, they said. Ahern said that he could potentially reduce the number of sites by about 20 percent, to 200, to address the countys concerns, but that he would need time to crunch numbers.It really starts to become a squeeze economically, he said.The commissioners will hear Aherns new proposal at their Aug. 15 meeting.This article first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise. Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado

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