‘Vail Renaissance’ puzzle piece falls into place | VailDaily.com

‘Vail Renaissance’ puzzle piece falls into place

Dominique Taylor/Vail DailyGuests sip coffee while reading the paper Friday in the lobby of the new Vail Plaza Hotel in Vail Village. Take a tour of the new hotel in a story online Saturday.

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail’s “renaissance” has been touted for years a shot in the arm for the aging town. Its details have been agonizingly imagined, and its ramifications, at times, have been agonizingly debated. Locals have slogged through its erection.

At last, one of its big pieces is in place.

The Vail Plaza Hotel and Club, a $120 million building at the main Vail roundabout, opened earlier this month. It is the largest new hotel to open in Vail in many years.

On Friday, guests leafed through newspapers in the lobby. The concierge was at attention at her desk. Cleaning ladies were pushing their carts. The complex was already getting good reviews from guests.

“Convenient, luxurious ” and friendly people, like Vail has always had,” said Jon Petke of Mission Viejo, Calif., whose family owns one of the fractional units. “We love it. It’s great for our family.”

General Manager Connie Dorsey, mustachioed and neatly dressed in a gray suit, gave a meticulous tour of the complex Friday, from its airy lobby to its cloistered spa.

“Our clientele will be the person who likes to stay at a Ritz-Carlton or a Four Seasons,” Dorsey said, adding that the complex is aiming for a five-star rating.

The building, the construction of which lasted three years, has 100 hotel rooms and 38 fractional units. It was built on the site of the old Vail Village Inn, one of the early lodges in Vail.

The complex employs 220 people ” about 50 on foreign-exchange visas ” and there are 38 employee-housing beds within the building.

Dorsey, who managed the old hotel as well, has been shepherding the project through its construction since it was just steel beams. He easily navigated the maze-like building, seven floors from basement to penthouse, from its hotel rooms to its fractional condos to its restaurants to its exercise room.

He walked in the bar, called Bacco’s.

“It’s a cozy, have-a-cocktail, apres-ski-style type of thing,” he said.

He flipped on the light switch in an empty hotel room.

“We have the 300-count sheets and things of that type,” he said.

He headed to a fractional unit, showing off its vaulted ceiling, its wet bar and its views of Golden Peak. Dorsey concluded his tour, taking an elevator back to the lobby.

“We are the first piece of the Vail renaissance,” he said.

Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

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