Vail to hold meeting about skier drop-off | VailDaily.com

Vail to hold meeting about skier drop-off

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – The town of Vail and Vail Resorts are moving quickly on a new deal that would allow for an unprecedented pay-in-lieu fee for skier drop-off parking spaces.

The Vail Town Council scheduled a special meeting Tuesday at 3 p.m. to discuss transferring Vail Resorts’ skier drop-off requirement, which is currently under construction on the First Chair development site at 600 W. Lionshead Circle, to the Lionshead parking structure.

Construction on the First Chair project began in mid-April. The project includes 42 employee housing units that will fulfill the company’s housing requirements for its Arrabelle at Vail Square project which opened in 2008. The town of Vail required the construction of nine skier drop-off spaces as a condition of the First Chair project’s approval, which happened in February 2009.

Since then, the town has begun construction of 20 skier drop-off spaces in what has been identified as a more convenient location, on the west end of the Lionshead parking structure, as part of the first phase of the Lionshead Transit Center project. The town has been negotiating with Vail Resorts to remove an easement for skier drop-off on the First Chair site and transfer the skier drop-off location to the Lionshead parking structure in exchange for a payment to the town of $725,000.

“We did fairly quickly decide that this would be a tremendous opportunity to partner with the town on something that absolutely enhances the guest experience, as well as returns our ability to build more parking,” said Kristin Kenney Williams, spokeswoman for Vail Resorts Development Co.

Williams said the skier drop-off spaces at the First Chair site would be so far away from the nearest chairlift that guests likely wouldn’t find it too convenient. The pay-in-lieu now gives Vail Resorts enough space on the First Chair site to build 28 to 29 new parking spaces. Williams said the company hasn’t yet determined whether the parking spaces would be for employees, the public or some other user.

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The town called the special meeting because the deal has to move forward quickly since construction is already under way at the First Chair site and would need to be reconfigured to build the new parking spaces. The project is scheduled to be finished by April of next year.

The town and Vail Resorts came to the $725,000 amount after considering the construction costs and the value of Vail Resorts getting some of its land back for the project.

“For anyone today to be able to write a check of that size, that’s a tough decision, but we really felt strongly that we were investing in the right project,” Williams said.

The meeting, in which the Town Council is expected to vote on the deal, will be held in the Vail Town Council Chambers, 75 S. Frontage Road, and will include a public hearing. The skier drop-off discussion is the only item on the special meeting agenda.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or lglendenning@vaildaily.com.