Vail’s Solaris to open piece by piece |

Vail’s Solaris to open piece by piece

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
NWS Solaris Progress DT 6-24-10

VAIL, Colorado – Vail local Mike French was happily surprised when he learned about the $14.50 and $10 movie ticket prices at the Cobb Cinebistro theaters at Solaris – he was expecting prices to be a lot higher than that.

“Everyone has been expecting the $20 to $25 range, so this is awesome,” French said.

Solaris, the retail, residential and commercial development under construction in Vail Village, is set to open little by little in the coming weeks. The project, which voters approved in 2006, will bring amenities to Vail like an ice skating rink, movie theater and bowling alley.

French, who works on the other side of Meadow Drive from Solaris at the Bag and Pack Shop, said it will be nice to have things like bowling leagues and a place to see movies right in town.

It will also be nice to see the construction come to an end, he said.

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“It’s been loud,” he said. “I’m excited for easier access to the village center.”

Craig Cohn, Solaris’s sales director, said it’s hard to say when everything in Solaris will be open for business. Once the developers lease the space to retailers, it’s up to those retailers to finish building and designing their spaces and open for business.

The tenants who have already signed leases should be open within the next month or so, he said. Vail Style, a clothing store, opened last week, and Worth Home, an interior design store, is expected to open this weekend. Alpine Bank plans to open sometime in early to mid-July, Cohn said.

Cohn wouldn’t comment on when there would be a grand opening event for Solaris. He said the Solaris developer needs to work out an appropriate date for such an event based on “which and how many tenants will be ready, when the artist will be ready to do his install, etc.”

Denver artist Lawrence Argent is working on some pieces of public art for Solaris – pieces that cost Solaris developers $1.5 million to have made.

“We would like to have a grand opening after (the art is installed),” Cohn said. “We’ll determine in the next couple of weeks a date for a grand opening type event.”

Argent’s website states the three pieces will be incorporated into the designed landscape, taking into account the winter and summer seasons and also the grand entryway for Solaris.

The Cobb Cinebistro movie theater should open in mid-July, said Fred Meyers, the executive director of Cinebistro nationwide.

“We can’t wait to get open,” Meyers said. “It will be in the middle of July – we don’t have an exact date yet.”

Meyers said the theater will be offering its 10 at 10 promotion seven nights a week, meaning all movies after 10 p.m. are $10.

Children are allowed into the theater until 8 p.m. daily, and after that only those 21 and older are allowed into the theaters. Tickets for children ages 2 to 11 are $7.50.

Matinee shows – movies before 4 p.m. daily – are $10 for adults, and three-dimensional films are $3 extra on top of normal ticket prices.

The theater offers waiter service for food, but guests have to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the movie to be able to order from their seats. Service stops once the movie begins, so movie-watchers aren’t distracted.

The theater will feature three screens and movie seats are high-back leather rocking chairs.

Cohn said the bowling alley, called Bol, is set to open around early to mid-July. He didn’t know any of the bowling rates and a representative from Bol could not be reached.

The residences at Solaris are already moving in, Cohn said. There are some residents sleeping there already. While only about 50 percent to 60 percent of the units have been sold, Cohn said another round of closings is happening next month.

The name of the main anchor restaurant in Solaris is still being kept quiet, although Cohn could say the restaurant would be a Japanese fusion restaurant. Final negotiations with the restaurant’s New York-based owner are still under way.

As the building comes together and construction comes to an end, locals are just happy to see the results of a project that’s been in the making for so many years.

“It’s been a long time,” said Yulia McCarthy, assistant manager at Vail Boot and Shoe, right next-door to Solaris. “We’re excited that it will bring more business to us.”

The general consensus among several business owners along Meadow Drive is that Solaris is going to boost business for the entire area and make Meadow Drive the centerpiece of Vail.

Luca Bruno, of Due Luca Bruno, said it will revitalize the economy, and Bryan Hutchinson, of Pazzo’s Pizzeria, said the development will just be good for the town overall.

Dana Smith, who works at Kidsport across from Solaris, said she’s especially excited for the ice skating rink, an attraction that will bring in the demographic her store wants around – families.

“We’re exciting it’s going to bring in more people,” Smith said.

J.T. Thompson is excited for business, too, but he is more excited for Solaris’s landscaping to come together.

“I’m waiting for something to break up the brown,” Thompson said. “We live in the mountain – we need to bring nature back into the street scene.”

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

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