Tourists lukewarm on bowling |

Tourists lukewarm on bowling

Vail Daily/Edward StonerClaudette Wilder of Grants Pass, Ore., with her husband, Kerry, said a bowling alley would bring more visitors with children.

VAIL ” Claudette Wilder of Grants Pass, Ore., said a bowling alley in a new Crossroads building would probably bring more visitors to Vail.

“For people with children, it would bring some of them in that might not come as frequently,” she said.

But Sue Mandell, a visitor from Andover, Mass., and a mother of two kids ages 10 and 15, said her family would probably skip bowling.

“Not bowling,” she said. “We’d rather be out in the fresh air.”

The Vail Town Council tonight will consider the embattled proposal to renovate the Crossroads building. The proposed building would have between 65 and 73 condos, a 10-lane bowling alley with an arcade, a three-screen movie theater, stores, restaurants and a public plaza/skating rink. The developer says the project will attract locals and visitors to Vail Village.

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A movie in the room

An informal survey of visitors in Vail were mostly chilly to bowling, but those interviewed were enthusiastic about new movie theaters and an ice rink.

The Crossroads building is being proposed under a special development district, which allows for more height and bulk in exchange for benefits to the public, which in this case are supposed to be the movie theater, the bowling alley, the plaza, the stores and the restaurants, as well as public art and road and sidewalk improvements.

Mandell said her family is OK with staying in for the night rather than finding entertainment on the town.

“We just put a movie on in the room,” she said.

She said her family might use the movie theaters, though.

Claudette’s husband, Kerry, said the ice rink would complement Vail’s other winter activities. He also said building higher may be a good thing.

“I’m OK with building up, if it’s the right project for the community,” he said.

The building would be 58 feet tall at the peak of the building along Meadow Drive. The highest peak as measured from the Frontage Road is about 87 feet, and the highest peak as measured from Meadow Drive side is about 99 feet. On the existing building, the highest point is 54 feet tall.

Jean McPhetres of Salida, who was visiting Vail while her husband was at a meeting, said the proposed building seemed tall to her.

“I don’t see why it has to be 99 feet tall,” she said. “That’s way too high.”

Some will bowl

Steve McGowan, visiting with his wife, Barbara, said they might use the skating rink, but probably not the bowling alley.

“You can go to a bowling alley at home,” he said.

But, he said, even if he and his wife don’t use the amenities, other people probably will.

Mya Sjogren, in town for three days from Rawlins, Wyo., also said she might use the movie theater and ice rink, but not the bowling alley.

“When I go on vacation, I don’t think I would choose to go bowling,” she said.

She was also unsure about the appropriateness of the height of the proposal.

“That is really tall,” she said. “It seems too tall for this area, I think.”

The Town Council last saw the Crossroads development proposal in August, when developer Peter Knobel pulled the project off the table after failing to get the board’s support. Opponents said the proposed building was too tall and bulky.

Two council members, Diana Donovan and Dick Cleveland, who voted against the proposal, were voted out of office in the November town election.

In a poll during the election season, four now-council member said they would have voted “yes” for the proposal that was approved by the planning commission last spring. That proposal was bigger than the one now on the table.

What: Vail Town Council meeting.

When: 6 p.m. tonight; Crossroads is the eighth item on the agenda.

Where: Town Council Chambers, Municipal Building, Vail.

How: The council will consider preliminary approval of the special development district to renovate the Crossroads building

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14623, or

Vail, Colorado

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