Membership and Interested Parties
Redevelopment of Lionshead Parking Structure Site (a.k.a. consolidated
Vail Civic Center Site).
companies have qualified for consideration in the Town of Vail proposal to
redevelop the Lionshead Parking Structure as a high density mixed used
commercial and residential project. The area being considered for the
project will affect the status of the long-standing vision for the Vail
Civic Center, which remains uncompleted.
The vision for
the Vail Civic Center is to provide facilities that would promote the
physical, social, and economic health of the Vail community by bringing
together its visitors, full and part-time residents, through the pursuit of
sport, culture, recreation and education. It is to be the vibrant heart and
soul of the Vail resort community.
specifications of the Town’s development program for the project do not
appear to be a settled matter with some community interests. The Vail
Recreation District (VRD) is raising programming and related issues with the
Vail Town Council. The VRD from the onset of the Vail Civic Center project
was to have a central role in its planning and operation.
The Vail Civic
Center began in the early 1970’s on land acquired by the Town of Vail to
provide both public parking and amenities for the community. The Vail Civic
Center consolidated site includes the location of the Lionshead Parking
Structure and Transportation Center, the Charter Bus Parking Lot, Dobson
Arena, Vail Public Library and a parking lot adjacent to the Vail Medical
The planning that is to ensue perhaps should be focused on gaining a balance
between both public and private facilities. A more detailed evaluation of
the development program may open the opportunity for a variety of creative
public/private amenities to be considered. The upgrading of existing
facilities, such as the Dobson Arena, will most likely also be considered as
part of the redevelopment. Project planning should also take into
consideration ongoing efforts of surrounding neighbors to upgrade or
preserve the qualities of their properties.
Priority should be given to the planning and design of the traffic
circulation and public transportation systems that will serve the site. The
traffic circulation on the adjacent South Frontage Road has been, for other
schemes proposed for the consolidated site, compromised in favor of
over-development rather than the efficient flow of traffic on the
community’s most important thoroughfare. There are public funding sources,
in addition to the value of the included public land, which can be applied
towards enhanced public infrastructure and amenities
It is observed that should a design competition be held
between the two finalists (rather than award the project to one firm
prematurely), the result could put greater emphasis on appropriate
infrastructure and the inclusion of other public amenities in addition to
those currently being suggested, such as a conference center. The public
participation process for the project has yet to be articulated. It would
be unfortunate and divisive for the community should public officials
decide, behind closed doors, important aspects of development proposals that
would otherwise have been shaped by legitimate public participation and
recommended that the Association reserve arriving at conclusions regarding
the merits of the project, until such time as a definitive proposal is
forthcoming. Concerns are being raised that continuing the unrelenting
redevelopment of Lionshead without a hiatus could have a detrimental
effect. Some are of the opinion that prolonging the planning process for
the civic center site has its advantages.
Inc. (VRI), through prior legal agreement with the Town of Vail, retains
approval over what is built on the Lionshead Parking Structure Site.
The land was given by VRI to the Town of Vail with the stipulation that the
site be used for public parking. Any other use must be approved by VRI
or the site reverts to its ownership.