Plans worth pursuing
Ski & Snowboard Club Vail has some exciting plans brewing, and we hope they come to fruition soon.
In 2014, the club — Vail’s oldest nonprofit group — earned town approval for a plan to replace the current clubhouse at the base of Golden Peak. The first floor of that structure dates to the 1970s, and a second-floor addition was completed roughly a decade later. In that time, club membership has grown from about 100 athletes to more than 600, along with more than 100 coaches.
The club’s current quarters are the very image of putting 10 pounds of stuff in a five-pound bag.
The expansion plan depends on one or two big issues, though. The town approval includes up to 10,000 square feet of residential space for up to two condominiums atop the clubhouse structure. Once the club finds a buyer or two for that very desirable space, then it will have the lion’s share of its financing in place for the clubhouse. Given the demand for slopeside real estate, combined with demand for new — or newly remodeled — luxury homes, the club has a very valuable asset in hand.
Another part of the club’s expansion is now in the hands of the U.S. Forest Service. That agency recently accepted for review a Vail Resorts proposal for a 75-acre terrain expansion just to the east of Golden Peak. If the plan is ultimately approved, then the new terrain would provide the club with space dedicated to snowsports training, something it has wanted for decades.
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The expansion plan wasn’t easy, requiring, in part, a way to ease drainage problems on the slope. Once completed, though, the club — along with the national ski teams and other groups that now use Vail for early-season training — will have a full-length downhill course on the steepest downhill pitch on Vail Mountain.
We hope these plans come to fruition in the near future. From its earliest days, competition has been a big part of promoting Vail Mountain. Now that the club counts as alumni two of the best-known racers in the sport — Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin — Vail’s history of competition could be poised to take its biggest step yet. A new headquarters and new terrain will only add to that allure.