Vail Council delays final OK to land sale contract
Board: Vail Town Council, March 20 work session and evening meeting.Present: Kevin Foley, Susie Tjossem, Ludwig Kurz, Andy Daly, Margaret Rogers, Kerry Donovan.Issue: Second reading of ordinances approving sale of town property to a partnership of Vail Valley Medical Center, the Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.What they did: Delayed final approval of a pair of ordinances approving the sale.Why it was delayed: Daly said the ordinances approving the sale need further review by the council.”We have some questions and comments on this contract,” Daly said. “We want to make sure this meets our long-term needs, so we have assurances this keeps the hospital and the clinic in town for the forseeable future.”Daly also said there are some “insignificant” issues with the title to the land that need to be cleared up.What’s next: Council is expected to vote on final approval of the ordinances in the next couple of meetings.Issue: Report about needed or desired improvements in Vail.Who they talked to: Beth Slifer of the Vail Local Marketing District Advisory Committee.What she talked about: Slifer presented the council with a long list of possible improvements to the town to upgrade its looks in the wake of recent construction in town. The long list ranged from new paint and ticket booths at the town’s parking structures to, perhaps, finding a way to create a town-wide sound system.One of the items on the long list that caught Rogers’ attention was improving the way the town gets information out to visitors, particularly a master calendar.”I can’t emphasize enough how important that is… it drives revenue to town,” Rogers said.Daly said he’s interested in “mobile wayfinding technology” for smartphone users.”As soon as the technology’s available, we’ll start working on it,” Slifer said.Issue: Hiring a law firm to pursue a suit against on-line travel companies.Who they talked to: Attorney Trey Rogers of Denver-based Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons. That company has launched a class-action suit against online travel companies, claiming that the companies’ discounted rooms have deprived resorts of millions in lost sales and lodging taxes.Rogers asked the council to join the suit as a full plaintiff, not just a member of a class. Rogers said the town will only pay – 25 percent of the total – if there’s a judgement in the case or a settlement. If the plaintiffs lose, the town pays nothing.”Financially, there’s a lot of upside and not much downside,” Rogers said. “We’ll be able to have more direct control this way.”What they did: Approved, 6-0, a motion to have Matt Mire get the paperwork ready to hire the company.What’s next: Mire will bring a resolution to the council to hire the law firm.- Scott N. Miller
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