Vail Resorts may partner in housing project | SteamboatToday.com

Vail Resorts may partner in housing project

Melanie Wong/Vail Daily

— Vail Resorts said it is willing to be part of redeveloping Timber Ridge, Vail, Colorado’s largest affordable rental complex, but only under certain conditions.

In a letter to Vail Mayor Dick Cleveland and the Vail Town Council earlier this week, Vail Resorts Co-president John Garnsey said the company is in support of the project and would consider being the developer.

The letter came as part of an ongoing discussion about who will redevelop and expand the 198-unit employee housing complex. The town of Vail wants to start the project by 2010, and it would be completed in two phases, and add an additional 600 beds.

The town considered negotiating exclusively with Vail Resorts Development Co. to do the project, but ended up deciding to offer the chance for the job to all developers by sending out a “request for qualifications.”

Garnsey wrote that Vail Resorts probably would answer the request call but made it clear that the company would not take on both Timber Ridge and the North Day Lot, where the company plans to build 120 employee beds.

The North Day Lot beds are part of Vail Resort’s housing obligations associated with the Arrabelle project.

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“We are not willing to develop both Timber Ridge and the North Day Lot,” Garnsey wrote. “Without (shifting the bed obligations), our company needs to focus attention and effort on the North Day Lot.”

Vail Resorts, which currently leases about 600 Timber Ridge beds for its employees, also said that if another developer were chosen for the project, it would consider employee housing elsewhere in the valley.

“If we are making a long-term commitment to the beds, and essentially providing the true financial resources for the project, we are not interested in having another developer or middle man,” Garnsey wrote.

If another developer were chosen, the resort would look at other housing options, said Kristin Williams, Vail Resort’s director of Eagle County public affairs.