Vail garage developer asks for more time |

Vail garage developer asks for more time

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” A Texas developer with plans to rebuild and expand the Lionshead parking structure in Vail, Colorado is asking the town for more time.

The $900-million plan to renovate the town-owned parking structure into hotels, condos, stores, more parking and a conference center was approved by the town last summer, but a “deed restriction” placed on the site by Vail Resorts stands in the way of the project. The restriction means Vail Resorts must approve anything built on that land.

The town gave the development group, Open Hospitality Group/Hillwood Capital, until Mar. 17 to get the restriction lifted. Now, the group is asking that the council give the project until June 15.

“For us to take the next step (on the project) we have to have clarity on the deed restriction,” said developer Mark Masinter. “We’re just asking for more time.”

The Vail Town Council will decide whether or not to give Masinter’s group the extension at next Tuesday’s council meeting.

Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz has said previously that he won’t lift the restrictions until the Lionshead parking can be replaced by a new garage at Ever Vail, the resort’s proposed new ski village.

However, Masinter said he’s optimistic that the group can work out the restrictions with Vail Resorts. The current economy might not be the best to be building the project anyway, he said.

“We’ve had lots of conversations (with Vail Resorts), and I don’t have any reason to believe it won’t get resolved,” Masinter said. “I think today we’re dealing with some very tough economic issues that make any kind of project very difficult. But when it happens, I think it will be great for the community.”

Town council members have been enthusiastic about the project in the past, saying it brings many public benefits to the town.

“I’ve always supported the project because of the overwhelming public benefits it would provide,” councilman Mark Gordon said.

The project would bring a conference center that would be of no financial risk to the town, as well as W and St. Regis Hotels, he said.

Those are two hotels that will fit in very nicely with the town and are potentially home runs,” Gordon said. “Also, more parking and more efficient parking are always a huge public benefit.”

Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or

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