Vail Resorts considers Timber Ridge redo
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Resorts said it is willing to be part of redeveloping Timber Ridge, Vail, Colorado’s largest affordable rental complex, but only under certain conditions.
In a letter to Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland and the Vail Town Council earlier this week, Vail Resorts Co-president John Garnsey said the company is in support of the project, and would consider being the developer.
The letter came as part of an ongoing discussion about who will redevelop and expand the 198-unit employee housing complex. The town of Vail wants to start the project by 2010, and it would be completed in two phases, and add an additional 600 beds.
The town considered negotiating exclusively with Vail Resorts Development Co. to do the project, but ended up deciding to offer the chance for the job to all developers by sending out a “request for qualifications.”
Garnsey wrote that Vail Resorts would probably answer the request call, but made it clear that the company would not take on both Timber Ridge and the North Day Lot, where the company plans to build 120 employee beds.
The North Day Lot beds are part of Vail Resort’s housing obligations associated with the Arrabelle project.
“We are not willing to develop both Timber Ridge and the North Day Lot,” Garnsey wrote. “Without (shifting the bed obligations), our company needs to focus attention and effort on the North Day Lot.”
Vail Resorts, which currently leases about 600 Timber Ridge beds for its employees, also said that if another developer were chosen for the project, it would consider employee housing elsewhere in the valley.
“If we are making a long-term commitment to the beds, and essentially providing the true financial resources for the project, we are not interested in having another developer or middle man,” Garnsey wrote.
If another developer were chosen, the resort would look at other housing options, said Kristin Williams, Vail Resort’s director of Eagle County public affairs.
Whoever ends up building the project should not build with the assumption that Vail Resorts employees will fill all the beds, she said.
Cleveland, like many of the other council members, said he hopes Vail Resorts will be part of the process to choose a developer, and that if Vail Resorts wanted to find employee housing elsewhere, that is up to the company.
Vail Resorts said it would also be willing to negotiate the project exclusively with the town.
“We’re willing to discuss Timber Ridge at any time,” Williams said. “We think it makes sense for our company to develop the beds if we are going to rent them.”
She added that the company believes the complex needs to be redeveloped, regardless of who does it.
Cleveland, one of the few council members who wanted to negotiate exclusively with Vail Resorts, said he wants to see employee housing built in Vail, and soon.
“I believe they’re one of the few entities that can accomplish what we need done and what they need done,” said Cleveland.
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 970-748-2928 or email@example.com.