Vail Daily column: Great things happening in Avon
Avon has a marvelous amount of positive activity occurring: a new pedestrian mall, a new performance pavilion, construction of new multi-use trails in the West Avon Preserve, the beach on Nottingham Lake and relocation of its town hall. All this is occurring using existing revenues, not costing one penny more in taxes.
Historically, Avon has been a town people passed through to get somewhere else, yet Avon has always had tremendous potential to improve and diversify its economy. Our town’s location could not be better, with an entrance to Beaver Creek, Nottingham Lake and the open space in Wildridge.
This unrealized potential and the possibility of a vibrant and energized downtown Avon was recognized in 2007 through Avon’s formally adopted investment plans. It was the opening of The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa with a gondola to Beaver Creek that helped jump start the Avon renaissance. Then, the global depression hit, temporarily halting the investments in Avon. Today, the economy has improved, plus the new Wyndham Hotel and improvements in east Avon, is igniting Avon’s longstanding capital project and land use plans.
The vision reflected in the adopted plans is to have Avon’s core/downtown area be a vibrant town center, one that takes advantage of Nottingham Park and its lake. The pedestrian mall connecting Avon Road to Nottingham Lake is a crucial piece in Avon’s long-term development. This area will host numerous events starting with the Apres Avon event in February as part of the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
A new town hall has been envisioned since 2007, as part of the West Town Center Improvement Plan. The Skier Building implements the adopted plan as a civic anchor point in central Avon. The location is ideal for locating public restrooms and meeting space for the community. The old town hall sits on one of Avon’s greatest assets, Nottingham Park. Over time this site can be redeveloped to its highest and best use, generating revenue for Avon.
The new Avon performance pavilion will be woven into the fabric of our community. It is designed to host an array of cultural and sporting events. If you went to WinterWondergrass Festival, Flavors of Colorado or Man of The Cliff, then you glimpsed this amazing potential. The first event on the performance pavilion is scheduled for the new stage, with Audi hosting its 13-day Winter Driving Experience during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships. The pavilion is a key piece to improving and growing the summer economy, supporting our business community and attracting guests to Avon while at the same time providing our residents unique amenities for enjoyment in Avon.
The timing on these large-scale projects coincides with the upcoming council election. Some might try to twist these well planned and dynamic investments as a negative, citing their belief that all large investments needing financing should be approved by the voters. Let me be clear, all of these projects are being paid from current revenues. There is no increase in taxes. Our reserves are fully funded and monies are available for additional major projects as deemed important by Avon’s next generation of leaders. Avon’s credit rating is superb.
Avon has never looked better. The beach in Nottingham Lake is fantastic. The multi-use trails in the West Avon Preserve have been a hit beyond compare. The ongoing redevelopment of East Avon by Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate will continue to add to Avon’s overall vibrancy. If you have spent any time in Avon lately, then you will have noticed busy stores and restaurants, among them old and new tenants.
The vision and plan to make Avon a year-round community that complements our resort location will provide a rich and wonderful experience for Avon’s residents, guests and businesses is coming to fruition. There has never been a better time to be in Avon.
Rich Carroll is the mayor of Avon.
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