If you haven’t been paying attention, there’s a good chance you haven’t noticed that the Town of Vail and Vail Resorts are currently battling over a plot of land in East Vail. The property management company initially planned on building employee housing for Vail Ski Resort on the Booth Heights Property. That plan was blocked by the town because of concerns surrounding a bighorn sheep habitat that’s located on and around the property, despite the town already having built several large homes and a school within the area.
Tuesday evening (September 20th), the Vail Town Council voted to offer the company $12 million for the property, taking another step in the condemnation process.
“The offer is based upon the advice of multiple expert consultants the town has retained. We believe it is an extremely generous offer and we hope Vail Resorts will accept the town’s offer and start to work with us collaboratively again on housing and many other issues facing our community.” – Vail Mayor Kim Langmaid, according to Vail Daily
Vail Resorts chose to file a lawsuit against the town earlier in September, claiming the town improperly used emergency ordinances to block the building in August. According to Mayor Kim Langmaid, the company has refused to negotiate in good faith.
“Despite what Vail Resorts has said publically, they have refused thus far to negotiate in good faith regarding this property. Instead, Vail Resorts has chosen to sue the town and have made numerous Colorado open records requests to the point of harassment.” – Vail Mayor Kim Langmaid, according to Vail Daily
At this point, Vail Resorts has neither accepted nor declined the town’s offer.
I’ve shared my opinions on this already, and my opinions shouldn’t really matter to you, but I’m becoming more and more anti-Vail Town Council every time I read more about this incident. First of all, I’m pretty darn convinced that, given that the town has already built several luxury mansions and a school on the habitat, their excuse of the issue being environmental based is BS. It really seems like these people just don’t want employee housing near the rich people’s houses.
Second of all, Mayor Kim’s quote, in which she claims the company is harassing the town by submitting too many Colorado open records requests, that’s complete garbage. It’s well within the right of the company to make as many of those requests as they deem necessary, just like it’s well within any Colorado resident’s rights to make as many requests as they deem necessary. It’s also well within their right to file a lawsuit against the town, just like it’s well within the rights of Vail employees to file lawsuits against Vail Resorts for unfair labor practices. To me, I see these comments as the Town of Vail saying nothing more than “they hurt my feelings :(”
Image Credit: Vail Mountain on Instagram