Vail to regulate ski storage |

Vail to regulate ski storage

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Businesses and hotels that store skis on outdoor racks during the day and then indoors overnight will likely face a new set of regulations this season, although the Vail Town Council isn’t yet sure what those regulations should look like.

Town planner Rachel Dimond presented detailed regulations to the town council last week, but the regulations were so specific that some council members worried they might restrict too much. Several hotel and ski shop owners and representatives were also at the meeting to express concerns over the proposed rules.

The council plans to vote on an ordinance on first reading at the next council meeting that would require businesses and hotels to go through a Design Review Board approval process by Feb. 15 in order to comply.

The issue came up in July 2010 when Ski Valet owner Tom Neyens told the town of Vail it wasn’t enforcing its commercial ski storage rules the same for all businesses.

The town of Vail adopted an ordinance in 1989 that allowed commercial ski storage only in the basement and garden levels of buildings in certain commercial zoning districts. In 1999, the town adopted the Lionshead mixed use zoning districts, which permitted commercial ski storage only on basement and garden levels in order to allow for retail and restaurant uses on the street level.

Since several hotels and private clubs have opened, however, there have been many commercial ski storage operations happening at the street level, Neyens told the town in 2010.

He wanted the rules clarified so he would know what he is allowed to do, although the current proposed rules don’t exactly provide that clarification.

He said some of the proposed rules would tie the hands of many business owners.

Tuesday’s proposed regulations, which are expected to change slightly, included rules that would prevent ski racks from blocking any storefront windows, limits on hours of operation and one rule that says the outdoor ski racks need to be staffed at all times.

“I think we’re assuming that business owners don’t know how to run their own businesses,” Councilwoman Margaret Rogers said.

The council directed Dimond to go back and simplify a lot of those rules before members vote at the next meeting. The council has the option to change some of the proposed language at that time, too.

Community Editor Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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