Vail Daily column: A reason to celebrate
Those of us who observe the Christmas holiday know it’s a time of celebration. But it’s also the season of light for Jewish faithfuls, the celebration of Hanukkah.
This year, Chabad Jewish Center purchased the commercial part of the Treetops building in Vail, across the street from the Lionshead parking structure. That group of believers is celebrating its first Hanukkah in its new home. That’s a big deal for Chabad, of course, and is probably a big deal for Vail.
You see, this is the first time a religious group has owned its very own real estate. Almost since Vail’s founding, a number of congregations have shared the Vail Interfaith Chapel. Religious groups in the 1960s understood that land would be hard to come by in Vail, and that scarce resources, such as money, would be better used as a group.
The interfaith chapel has been a rousing success, and the idea spread, first to Beaver Creek, then to Edwards.
But the good people at Chabad wanted a space of their own. For the past several years the group has hosted a number of educational programs, and there are other functions that take place daily.
So, after years of planning, and nearly 18 months moving through the town of Vail’s approval process, Chabad was able to find a building and get approval for its use as a religious center.
Using the building for religious purposes actually required a town ordinance to expand allowed uses in some of the town’s zoning districts.
The work isn’t done, of course. Furniture and fixtures have been delivered, but still need to be installed.
Then there’s the matter of leasing the downstairs commercial space, which can help pay for the building’s purchase.
Still, moving to a new home is almost always a cause for celebration. Mazel Tov, Chabad, and enjoy this year’s very special festival of lights!