VR offices get reprieve | VailDaily.com

VR offices get reprieve

VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Resorts got another year to keep its offices in Lionshead storefronts that normally are reserved for stores ” even as Vail council members expressed reservations about the offices staying there.

“I definitely don’t want to kick Vail Resorts out today for this winter,” said Vail Councilwoman Kim Newbury. But Newbury added that “it does not meet the goals and objectives of the town to have office space on that ground floor.”

The Vail Town Council voted Tuesday to give Vail Resorts a one-year extension for the offices. In 2005, the company, which runs Vail Mountain, got temporary approval to use the first floor of the Treetops and Concert Hall Plaza for offices.

Vail Mountain Chief Operating Officer Chris Jarnot said the company will make plans to leave the offices.

“We’ll come back well before May with a plan to move out,” Jarnot said.

Some argued that the space was valuable as retail space, which would generate sales tax for the town. But others said those spaces would remain empty if the offices move out.

“I don’t think it’s going to get rented,” Councilwoman Margaret Rogers said.

About 45 employees work at Treetops, and 18 work at Concert Hall Plaza in areas such as ski school, human resources, sales, marketing and mountain operations, Jarnot said.

Brian Nolan, owner of the Vail Chophouse and Blue Moose Pizza, supported the offices ” and employees ” staying in Lionshead.

“That’s 18,179 potential lunches in the course of a year,” he said.

Vail resident Kaye Ferry said Vail Resorts shouldn’t have gotten the extension.

“Vail Resorts has had an advantage that no one else has had in securing first-floor space for offices,” she said.

Jarnot said the company’s long-term plan is to move into Ever Vail, the $1 billion ski village planned for West Lionshead ” even though that project doesn’t have a definite timeline.

“If, over the next number of months or years, we determine that there’s not going to be an Ever Vail, then we’ll come up with another plan at that point,” Jarnot said.

The interim plan would be to split up employees between several offices in Lionshead and Avon, he said.

The vote was 5-1, with Councilman Kevin Foley voting against and Councilman Mark Gordon recusing himself.

“I think we need to say, ‘Temporary means temporary,'” Foley said.

Daily Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 970-748-2929 or estoner@vaildaily.com.

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