Vail gives first approval to contractor registration requirement |

Vail gives first approval to contractor registration requirement

Building official: Registration needed to ensure contractors have at least basic skills, insurance

Contractors big and small in Vail will soon be required to be registered with the town.
Chris Dillmann |
What you’ll need
  • Your business name.
  • A current mailing address.
  • An application fee.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Proof of certification, licensing and training.
  • For more information, to go

As busy as the valley’s construction scene is at the moment, Vail officials can no longer rely on knowing who they’re working with. That’s why the town is on the brink of requiring contractor registration.

The Vail Town Council on Oct. 6 unanimously passed on first reading an ordinance setting out the requirements of contractor registration. A second, final reading could come as soon as Oct. 20.

C.J. Jarecki, the town’s top building official, explained the case for registration at the Oct. 6 meeting.

Because of demand, Jarecki said his office is seeing contractors from outside the region, and sometimes out of state.

“Owners are bringing in contractors we’ve never worked with,” Jarecki said. “Any guy with a tape measure and a pickup truck can call himself a contractor.”

The registration requirements are fairly simple, and include evidence of passing a basic knowldge exam and providing proof of carrying liability and workers compensation insurance.

Jarecki said other towns in the valley are looking closely at Vail on the topic.

“Other towns want to see us take the lead  on this,” Jarecki said.

While Colorado is one of 19 states that don’t require contractor registration, Jarecki said Grand Junction, Pitkin County and Glenwood Springs are area governments that have similar registration requirements.

Several registration categories can cover everyone from handymen to large firms, Jarecki said.

Chris Evans, a partner in Evans Chaffee Construction, said he thinks registration is a good idea.

Evans noted his company holds licenses in California and Nevada, and holds a general contrator’s license in Denver.

Evans noted he’s long been a proponent of statewide licensing. That would eliminate the need for holding licensing in several different jurisdictions.

Evans said he isn’t worried about competition from other large firms in the valley.

“It’s when you get unqualified people who don’t know what they’re doing that gives the industry a black eye,” Evans said.

Travis Bossow, president of longtime local firm RA Nelson, said registration provides a “baseline” to ensure a person or firm has the basic knowledge needed to get a job done.

“When times are good like this, a lot of folks head out on their own,” Bossow said. Registration creates a simple process for contractors to get prequalified to bid on jobs, he added.

But, Evans added, the tests required for registration have little do to with working in mountain environments.

“Building in the mountains is a very different animal even than the Front Range,” Evans said. Beyond soils and snow loads, building in the mountains requires building on much steeper slopes, he added.

“We take it for granted as a skill set,” Evans said. “A lot of people coming in don’t.”

Registration won’t ensure that people have the needed knowledge and skills, Evans added.

“They’ll learn about working in the mountains from working in the mountains,” he said.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at

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