Voters turn out in force
VAIL ” A steady stream of residents came to the Vail Municipal Building to vote on the Crossroads proposal Tuesday.
Bill Sulze said he voted in favor of the controversial project.
“I just see the entire town being developed,” he said. “You look at Crossroads and it looks like it needs to be done. And I want a bowling alley.”
But Claire Connors said the proposed building is too big. If residents vote against the project, Connors believes developer Peter Knobel will resubmit a smaller project, she said.
“He’s going to come back with another proposal, I would expect,” she said.
Knobel wants to build 69 condos, a three-screen movie theater, a 10-lane bowling alley, a public plaza/ice rink, stores and restaurants on the Crossroads site.
The Tuesday townwide vote reconsidered the Town Council’s approval of the project, called “Solaris,” in March.
Katy Hughes said Tuesday she voted against the proposal because it’s too big. Also, she doesn’t think the amenities ” such as the bowling alley ” would remain in the building, even though any change would require approval from Town Council.
“I raised a family here, and they are wonderful and productive people without having an arcade and a bowling alley,” she said.
Almost 1,000 people cast ballots in early voting, which ended Friday. There are 4,045 registered voters in Vail.
Stennor Dahlen was wearing a “Vote for Crossroads” shirt and waving another while dancing in front of the Municipal Building. Dahlen, a Vail resident who works at the Crossroads building, and his fellow employees were recruited by his boss to rally for the project, he said.
“I want a bowling alley and a great movie theater,” he said. “I hate going to Eagle to bowl.”
Tom Steinberg, a former Vail councilman and longtime town resident who organized the effort to force a vote on the project, was standing alone opposite the pro-Crossroads demonstrators. He held a sign that read, “If you love Vail, vote no.”
Other opponents would be joining him throughout the day, he said, and would also be calling voters reminding them to vote. He said he didn’t know how the vote would turn out.
“I’ve been through too many to predict,” he said.
Steinberg said he was here for the birth of Vail, and he considers Vail a child.
“If they want to reproduce it, they can reproduce it, and live with the consequences,” Steinberg said.
Mike Mathias said he voted in favor of the project and that the positives outweigh the negatives.
“It seems it’s a win-win-win situation,” he said.
The bowling alley, the restaurants and the ice rink would attract people to Vail, he said. Plus, the circa 1968 building needs to be redeveloped, he said.
“They say aging,” he said. “Boy, that really doesn’t quite describe it. It does need to be fixed up. And I’m not so personally concerned about a few extra inches or a few extra feet on its height.”
Sandra Smith said she voted against the project.
“I would love to have the amenities but I’m also a little put off by the developer saying it’s this or nothing,” she said.
Smith said she would like to see one floor removed from the proposal. But she said she thinks the proposed building will be approved by voters.
Diana Honeykiss said the project will bring things for kids to do in Vail. The town has already approved similar projects, she said.
It’s wrong “to punish this one development because, oops, everybody went ‘I forgot to vote for the other two or maybe I should have stopped it beforehand,'” she said.