Tiny Red Cliff readies for big resort
Vail, CO Colorado
RED CLIFF ” The employee housing planned off Shrine Pass Road to shelter private ski resort workers makes some Red Cliff residents and officials nervous.
The Ginn Co. ” which wants to build the private resort on Battle Mountain ” wants to build 80 to 100 employee homes near Willow Creek just outside Red Cliff. Residents worry about the traffic, transients and destruction of pristine environment the development might bring.
Jake Spears lives above the town’s high road entrance and he foresees increases in noise and traffic.
“Any kind of growth is going to impact people living down there,” Spears said. “It’s not what I want to see.”
Developer Bobby Ginn plan two entrances to his as-yet-unnamed resort, one over Battle Mountain and the other through Red Cliff. The representatives said employees will be required to drive over the mountain to reach work.
But Red Cliff resident Jim Bradford said they’ll drive through town while off the clock because it’s “faster than going up Willow Creek and back over.”
“Also, I’m not sure Mr. Ginn is going to want them traveling back and forth over his property doing their daily errands,” Bradford said.
Bradford opposes the development but said Red Cliff should get something in return if employees eventually living just outside town drive through. He suggested road improvements to handle additional traffic and a wastewater treatment plan.
“Then I would say it would probably have a positive impact on Red Cliff,” Bradford said.
Whether Red Cliff controls what happens outside town is unknown. The Ginn Co. owns 5,300 acres on Battle Mountain and it is currently is trying to annex 4,300 acres into Minturn. The remaining 1,000 acres where the employee housing is proposed is still in limbo.
Bradford said he wants the company to annex the 1,000 acres into Red Cliff rather than Minturn so his town is able to shape development.
“It’s not fair to Red Cliff to let Minturn make those decisions on our borders,” said Bradford, a former town councilman.
Fellow resident Tim Parks owns several businesses in town. Increased traffic doesn’t bother him. He thinks Ginn’s employees might create more business and sales tax revenue for the town.
“We need more people with good year-round paying jobs,” Parks said.
Even though Parks isn’t concerned, he wants the company to fund improvements to the high road. Parks said he suspects company representatives will be ready to discuss Red Cliff’s needs this summer when and if they finish with Minturn.
“I don’t think they’ll screw us,” he said. “They want a functioning cute town at the lower level of their resort.”
Michael Scola doesn’t want development to ruin Red Cliff’s small-town character.
“I bought in Red Cliff because I wanted to live in a sleepy little mountain town,” he said. “It’s my dream home. It’s Rocky Mountain living at 9,300 feet.”
Red Cliff officials relayed several concerns to their Minturn counterparts. The concerns included traffic increases.
Red Cliff’s attorney, Ruth Borne, wants the town and company to clarify how employees will use the entrance through Red Cliff, she said.
“Their streets and roads aren’t prepared to double the size of our town at this time,” Borne said. “Our real concern is having Minturn and the Ginn Co. take those aspects into consideration during approval.”
Staff Writer J.K. Perry can be reached at 748-2928 or email@example.com.
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