Vail Resorts: Skyscraper in Avon bad idea
Vail Resorts “emphatically” opposes what would be the tallest building in the Vail Valley if Avon officials go forward with what could be a 20-story building, even after the property owner said the building’s size has been overstated.In a letter to Avon Mayor Buz Reynolds, Vail Resorts Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron says the ski company is prepared to spend “unlimited resources, repeat, unlimited resources to muster whatever opposition is needed to send this terrible proposal to the graveyard it deserves.”Lot 61 owner Michael Hazard said Florida-based developer Keith Jennings was wrong when he said the building would be 250 feet tall.”We won’t go that high,” said Hazard. “I agree that the height brought up at the meeting would be inappropriate for Avon and probably contrary to the character of the town.”But to develop the site, Hazard said there has to be sufficient density for it to be financially viable for a developer.”This is an opportunity for the town to bring a project to fruition that can bring viability to Avon’s retail and residential markets,” he said. “This can be a very positive project for the town.”Jennings insinuated that part of Aron’s protest could stem from competition in the condominium market.Jennings has called lot 61 “beachfront property” that one day could be connected by a ski lift to Beaver Creek Mountain. He said buyers could get a condo there for half the cost of a similar home in Beaver Creek.The issue arose more than a week ago when Jennings told the Avon Town Council that the residential and commercial building he’s planning to build in the core of Avon could be 250 feet – “the tallest building between Denver and Salt Lake City,” he said.Jennings wants to build 280,000 square feet of residential and commercial space on lot 61, a one-acre lot between The Seasons and the Avon Center buildings. The $65 million project would include 120 condos, some with unobstructed views of Beaver Creek Mountain, and retail space.”In all the years I have lived in this valley I have never heard a worse idea,” Aron said. “[Vail Resorts] has an undeniable interest in preserving the world-class appeal of Avon, Beaver Creek and its surroundings.”The character of Avon and Beaver Creek, and for that matter all of the Vail Valley, is highlighted by low-profile buildings.”
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