Vail too pricey for many nonprofits |

Vail too pricey for many nonprofits

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” Many so-called Vail nonprofit organizations don’t actually reside in Vail, and several have moved offices downvalley in the last few years, said Pam Brandmeyer, Vail assistant town manager.

The reason for the moves is that Vail real estate is just too expensive for these kinds of organizations, she said.

“Office space that is economical for (nonprofits’) use is just not available,” Brandmeyer said.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any spaces available. The Vail Symposium found out in December that the architecture firm that had been donating office space to the organization was closing up shop. Carrie Marsh, the Symposium’s new executive director, was worried the Vail nonprofit would have to kiss Vail goodbye.

“We were looking up and down the valley for the first three weeks,” Marsh said. “We weren’t even looking in Vail, to be honest with you.”

The Vail Symposium was planning to accept the fact that its offices would end up in Avon or Edwards ” that’s where most of the valley’s nonprofits have offices, Marsh said.

Not only did the Symposium find space in the Glen Lyon Building, which is on the creek between the Vail Marriott and the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa, but the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival is moving into the Symposium’s old space in West Vail.

Bravo!, a nonprofit, left town and moved to Minturn in 1996 because rent was just too pricey in Vail, said Rachel Packer, Bravo! spokeswoman.

“We’re really looking forward to (moving back to Vail), especially come summer when we spend so much time at the (Ford) Amphitheater,” she said. “It’ll be great to be in Vail and part of the Vail community again.”

Brandmeyer said town officials are thrilled to keep the Symposium in town and excited about Bravo! moving back. She only wishes more nonprofits that represent and serve the town could have offices there.

When discussions of building a conference center near the eastern end of the Lionshead parking structure were going on about three years ago, Brandmeyer said there were talks about adding space there for nonprofits. The entire project idea quickly died, and there haven’t been any discussions about keeping nonprofits in town since.

“We simply don’t have alternate sites to present (nonprofits) with,” she said.

She remains optimistic, though, because there are so many large projects either under construction or in the planning stages that could add office space to the town. Most of the projects are years away from completion, but she says there’s a substantial amount of office space in the works.

When big projects, like Ever Vail, are built, office space that has temporarily housed those developers will also become available, she said.

“It’s always been challenging for nonprofits,” Brandmeyer said. “We’ve seen so many of them move downvalley.”

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

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