Vail: A passion for progress
Special to the Daily
Vail Village BY THE NUMBERS:
Courtesy of the Vail Board of Realtors
Currently on the market
• Residences: 76
• Priced: $695,000 to $30 million
• Vacant land: 0
Properties sold in 2015
• Residences: 54
• Priced: $525,000 to $15.75 million
• Vacant land: 0
Properties sold in 2014
• Residences: 53
• Sale price: $480,000 to $19 million
• Vacant land: 1
• Sale price: $7,750,000
VAIL — The first highway to forge into what is now Vail was constructed in the late 1930s and it was a state highway engineer who directed that construction. That engineer’s name was Charlie Vail — and, yes, he is the resort community’s namesake.
Once Charlie Vail helped get people to the Vail Valley, and the founding fathers began construction of Vail in 1962, the rest, as they say, is history. That passion for progress and the desire to improve continues to this day with a number of projects already underway.
This year will see construction begin on the Interstate 70 Vail Underpass, nicknamed the Simba Run Underpass because of its location. It will provide a convenient, much-needed access point for vehicles, transit, pedestrians and bicyclists to cross the interstate and more effectively connect West Vail and Vail town center. The project should be complete by December 2017.
Another very significant project now underway is the expansion and renovation of the Vail Valley Medical Center’s west wing. The area’s nonprofit community hospital since 1965 is undergoing upgrades that include a new cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology lab, a new and larger emergency department, upgraded patient care and intensive care units, a relocated helipad and expanded sports medicine research labs and capabilities. Services will not be interrupted during this time — but be careful on Vail’s 5,289 skiable acres, 193 ski trails, superpipe and half-pipe and minimize the need to check out the hospital’s superior services for yourself.
The venerable Gorsuch building on Gore Creek, meanwhile, is being remodeled to accommodate a much-anticipated new restaurant in the former Ore House space. Interior and exterior improvements will be made behind a construction fence with completion expected this spring. Gorsuch’s retail space won’t be affected.
Because Vail is such a desirable location, affordable living for employees — those folks who help keep the town operating — continues to be a challenge, so Lion’s Ridge Apartment Homes, with Buildings 1 and 2 already open, are a welcome asset.
This apartment complex features mountain views, soundproofing to minimize highway impact and a convenient location minutes from the center of town. Lion’s Ridge is a smoke-free community as well, with one- and two-bedroom floor plans featuring large windows, private balconies and patios and in-unit laundry facilities. The project’s easy access to town fills a niche in the market and, by all accounts, tenants are thrilled. Construction on Buildings 3 and 4 continue; the entire project is scheduled for completion this spring.
Lion’s Ridge isn’t the only lion roaring in Vail. The Lion is a new private residential development walking distance from the Lionshead gondola. With 65 total units, ranging from one to five bedrooms, it’s the only new luxury construction in Vail, with an expected move-in date of January 2017.
The Vail Golf Clubhouse renovation, meanwhile, involves numerous improvements. Drainage issues and parking lot improvements are being addressed and improvements are being made to the pro shop, Nordic center and restaurant.
These and other current projects are what keep Vail an ever dynamic town that draws people from all around the globe. While Charlie Vail never could have guessed the number of people who would be traveling the highways and bi-ways and skyways to get to one of the most renowned and vibrant resort areas in the world, Vail has done him proud.