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Vail Resorts on Wednesday said it just learned of a $12 million Town of Vail offer for its Booth Heights parcel in East Vail — where the town has had a change of heart and no longer wants to see workforce housing — but that the company is still focused on building affordable units.
“Vail Resorts learned about a potential offer for the first time at the hearing last night,” Vail and Beaver Creek senior communications manager John Plack told Real Vail in an email. “We remain committed to our goal to bring incremental and urgently needed affordable housing to our community.”
The Vail Town Council, in an executive session Tuesday, decided to offer $12 million for the property, which the town already rezoned to accommodate the housing project, which was approved for development by a previous council.
The current council then changed course and voted to move forward with condemnation of the project to protect a nearby herd of bighorn sheep. Vail Resorts is fighting the condemnation and has challenged the town’s prohibition on new building permits.
Mayor Kim Langmaid on Tuesday moved to instruct the town attorney to offer Vail Resorts $12 million for the purchase of the Booth Heights property. The motion passed 5-1, with council member Travis Coggin voting against the motion.
Former council member Merv Lapin spoke in favor of the purchase of Booth Heights, and also suggested the town stop master leasing employee housing to Vail Resorts and providing overflow parking, according to a town press release.
Former council member Mark Gordon, according to the same release, said he “believes many in the community feel the purchase of Booth Heights is a foregone conclusion and do not have a voice. He asked again for a public vote.”