Voters see critical decision for Vail’s future
VAIL – Terri Cox, a Vail voter, said Solaris is a good idea for Vail that needs to be built.”It will give kids something to do besides hanging out in the parking lot,” she said.Voters will decide Tuesday the fate of Solaris, the redevelopment plan for the Crossroads site in Vail Village. Developer Peter Knobel has proposed 69 condos, a three-screen movie theater, a 10-lane bowling alley, stores, restaurants and a public plaza for the site. The Town Council approved the project by a 4-3 vote in March, but opponents gathered enough signatures to force a townwide referendum on the project. A “yes” vote will allow the project to proceed. A “no” vote will kill the project and leave the current building there indefinitely.
Opponents object to the size of the project. But Cox pointed to other large buildings that are being constructed in Vail. “Look at what else they’re putting in,” she said.In terms of above-ground square footage per acre, the Vail Plaza Hotel and Club and the Four Seasons are larger than the Solaris proposal. But Vail voter Pat Needham said she is going to vote against the project.”I think it’s too much,” she said.She said the project will take away from the European ambiance of Vail.”I think it’ll ruin the whole village,” she said.
Vail voter Tina Schwartz said she thinks she’s going to vote for the proposal.”We all wish it was a little shorter, but it’ll work,” she said.She especially likes the public bathrooms and the public plaza that are going to be part of the proposal. “We just need a little bit more space,” she said about the public plaza.She said the building could farther from the Frontage Road, and have better landscaping than what’s proposed.Peter Stadler of Vail said he hasn’t made up his mind yet about how he’ll vote.”It’s kind of a hard issue,” he said.Progress is important, he said, but Vail shouldn’t become too urban.
“People come up to get away from the city,” he said.Vail voter Tom Provo said he’s in favor of Solaris. He said Vail is at risk of losing its competitive edge to other resorts like Whistler that offer nice amenities – though the mountain is always a great draw for Vail.”It’s a step forward,” Provo said, adding that the new Tivoli Hotel, Sonnenalp Resort expansion and the Arrabelle at Vail Square are also steps in the right direction.He also said the town’s planning staff and council went through two years of study and consideration in approving the project.Provo also liked the fact that Knobel called Vail residents personally to discuss his project with them.Joyce Wilson said she already voted and she hopes it will be approved.
“Because we need it and (Knobel has) done everything he should do,” she said.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or email@example.com.Vail Colorado