Will more workers call Vail home?
VAIL, Colorado ” Vail Resorts has a plan to build 126 beds of employee housing and a bus station on what’s now a parking lot in Lionshead.
The plan ” which hasn’t been submitted to the town yet ” would satisfy the employee-housing requirements for the Arrabelle at Vail Square complex in Lionshead.
“It will be nice ” living rooms, kitchens, a lounge for employees,” said Michael Brekka, vice president of real estate development for Vail Resorts Development Company.
The for-rent worker housing would be close to jobs in restaurants and hotels in Vail, Brekka said.
But one neighbor has problems with the plan, saying a bus station doesn’t belong tucked among condos.
“It’s an awful idea. It’s a terrible idea,” said Mark Kobelan, president of the homeowners association for the Landmark Condominiums, which is next to the North Day Lot.
The transit center, which would be on the first floor of the complex with four floors of housing above, would be 20 feet away from the homes at the Landmark, Kobelan said.
Noise and fumes from the buses ” both town of Vail and Eagle County buses would use the transit center ” would be disruptive, Kobelan said.
“It’s a residential area,” he said.
The North Day Lot transit center would also have a skier drop-off area and a place for hotel buses, said George Ruther, Vail’s community development director.
The North Day Lot has long been identified by the town as a good place for a transit center, and the town would fund the bus hub.
But a transit center also has been proposed separately for the redeveloped Lionshead parking structure.
That would be a better place for the bus hub, Kobelan said.
“In the parking garage, they’ll be disrupting cars,” Kobelan said. “At the North Day Lot, they’ll be disturbing people. It’s a no-brainer that it should go (at the Lionshead garage).”
Mayor Dick Cleveland said the Lionshead parking garage proposal remains uncertain.
“There’s not a guarantee that would ever happen,” Cleveland said.
Cleveland said the town would make sure disruptions to residents near the North Day Lot would be minimized.
“We will do what we can to shield them from noise and fumes,” he said.
Having worker housing in Lionshead makes sense, Cleveland said.
“It’ll keep the area alive,” he said.
With redevelopment creating more and more jobs in Vail and rising housing prices pushing workers farther and farther away, the town has pushed to create more worker housing in Vail.
Vail Resorts, developer of the Arrabelle, pledged to provide 120 employee-housing units for the development. The company says its Timber Ridge housing satisfies that requirement for now but agreed to submit a plan for 120 new employee-housing beds to the town by Feb. 25.
The company has posted a $17.3 million letter of credit as an assurance that the housing would eventually be built.
A portion of the North Day Lot will remain a parking lot during construction and could later be developed into condos or a hotel, Brekka said. The entire North Day Lot, which is owned by Vail Resorts, is just under one acre.
Staff Writer Edward Stoner can be reached at 748-2929 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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