Big year in Vail construction wrapping up |

Big year in Vail construction wrapping up

Retail and restaurant space remains under construction Thursday below the Clock Tower in Vail. Construction around the town continues with ferver before the upcoming ski season.
Chris Dillmann | |

On the horizon

The Vail Planning and Environmental Commission is studying an application for a Marriott Residence Inn in West Vail. To see the applicant’s presentation to the town, go to the town of Vail’s website.

VAIL — The days are gone when cranes crowded this town’s skyline. But there are more big projects in Vail today than there have been in several years. Here’s a look at the status of some of that work:

Vail Valley Medical Center

The medical center started work in 2015 on the west wing of the old hospital. The first phase of work will add roughly 42,000 square feet of space. Work includes adding a fourth floor to the facility, and renovation of existing space. Space will be added for the Steadman Clinic and the Steadman Philippon Research Institute.

Work on the west wing is expected to wrap up in early 2017. Work is expected to start on the project’s second phase in 2017.

Town of Vail Community Development Director George Ruther said the application for that second phase is coming to his offices now.

That second phase is larger in square footage than the first, and includes a new emergency department and new helipad for air ambulances.

The Lion

This project, on the site of the former Lionshead Inn and the Best Western VailGlo Lodge, will add 65 luxury condominiums to the town’s inventory.

Julie Weihaupt, director of sales at The Lion, said the project is on track to be complete in early 2017. Right now, there’s a furnished model unit that prospective buyers can tour by appointment.

Those appointments are essential, since that unit is in the midst of an active construction site. That means people touring the facility need to wear hard hats.

Weihaupt said the exterior scaffolding is starting to come down, and the exterior of the building is nearly finished.

When complete, The Lion will offer a mix of units, from two to five bedrooms. Prices range from $1.9 million to $12 million for the penthouse unit.

About one-third of the units are already spoken for, Weihaupt said, adding that most of the units with slopeside views have been sold.

Interstate 70 underpass

When finished in late 2017, this $30 million project will link the town’s north and south frontage roads roughly halfway between the Vail Town Center and West Vail I-70 interchanges. Town officials say the underpass, which has been in the thinking-about stages since the 1980s, will ease congestion at the interchanges, will allow faster response times for emergency vehicles and will help the town create more-efficient bus routes.

The news for the coming ski season is that both frontage roads will be open to two-way traffic through the winter.

Construction will ramp up again in spring 2017.

Vail Cascade

The 285-room hotel was sold earlier this year. The new owners have launched an extensive interior and exterior remodeling project. The hotel will receive a new name as part of the project, and the new owners hope to move the facility into the higher end of Vail’s lodging inventory.

Originally set to open to guests in December, completion is now expected in January 2017.

Other projects

• Vail Spa: This nearby condo complex has had an extensive exterior renovation this year.

• Doubletree Hotel: The former Holiday Inn in west Vail this year received a number of exterior and interior improvements.

• The old Ore House restaurant: Ruther said a new restaurant is expected to open in the early part of the coming ski season at the northeast corner of Bridge Street and Gore Creek Drive in Vail Village.

• Vail Golf Club clubhouse: A new, $11 million clubhouse includes improved spaces for group meetings. A new summer and winter restaurant will open shortly after the facility opens in November as the Vail Nordic Center.

• East Vail fire station: This project isn’t particularly visible. But, Ruther said, it involves an extensive remodeling and modernization of the old facility. The existing station has also remained open and operating during the project.

Coming soon?

As current projects continue or wind down, a new Marriott Residence Inn has been proposed for the site of the old Roost Lodge in West Vail. As proposed, the new hotel would have 170 rooms, 113 deed-restricted apartments and 360 below-ground parking spaces.

Ruther said that project is in its final review phase with the Vail Planning and Environmental Commission. A public meeting about that final review is expected before the end of this year.

When the Planning and Environmental Commission finishes its work, the project — which has been proposed as what’s known as a special development district in town zoning lingo — must be approved by the Vail Town Council.

Work could begin in 2017.

Vail Daily Business Editor Scott Miller can be reached at 970-748-2930, and @scottnmiller.

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