Some look forward to Minturn ski resort
February 29, 2008
MINTURN Rebecca Callender said a couple weeks ago that she would have closed her business had Minturn town councilors not approved a private ski resort. Her store, Antique Accents, which she has owned 18 years, cant compete with other businesses as the Vail Valley grows larger, she said. She used to have 30 or 40 people come to her store each day now its one to three, she said. So she wonders whether Ginn will bring more customers to Minturn. I dont foresee business increasing until the homes are almost finished, she said. That could more than a few years from now, but the development took a major step forward when town councilors unanimously voted to include 4,300 acres of land owned by the Ginn Development Co. into the town of Minturn Wednesday night. Town councilors called the project inevitable and explained that Red Cliff would have annexed the property or Eagle County would have taken control. Ginn wants to build 1,700 homes and condominiums and a private ski resort and golf course south of Minturn. Town councilors will vote again, possibly later this year, to finally approve or deny the project.
Despite Wednesday nights approval, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has not approved Ginns plans to proceed with its clean-up of contaminated wine waste from the former Eagle Mine. Ginn still needs to show that it has explored alternatives for water storage besides filling with water a dry lake bed south of town called Bolts Lake where wetlands exist, said Mike Holmes, Eagle Mine project manager for EPA. Ginn also has to figure out how it will put contaminated mine waste such as arsenic, lead, zinc, cadmium and copper from the abandoned mining town of Gilman into a pile in Minturn, he said. Ginn wants to build employee housing at Gilman and Holmes said it must make sure the land is safe for people. Ginn cannot proceed with its plans to build several condominium buildings at Bolts Lake, including an up to 195-foot-tall one, until EPA approves the clean-up.The site would never have been cleaned up without Ginn, said Mark Tamberino, owner of Kirby Cosmos BBQ in Minturn.I think the deals pretty solid, he said.
Union Pacific has not yet agreed to let Ginn use its railroad tracks to transport building materials, which would decrease the number of trucks going through town, Ginn has said. We remain optimistic that it will happen, said Cliff Thompson, director of communications for Ginn.Ginns plans will help improve current traffic as well as future traffic, Ginn has said. Ginn will pay for sidewalks, curbs, gutters, lighting and signs to improve safety on Minturns roads, Ginn has said. Residents may have to wait 2-and-a-half minutes and maybe a little bit longer to get out of their driveways on Main Street, Town Councilwoman Shelley Bellm said at Wednesday nights council meeting.Its not going to be constant superhighway of construction traffic there are going to be limitations, she said. One of those limitations is no Ginn construction traffic on Sundays without permission from the town.
Tamberino said he thinks more customers will come to his restaurant. Ginn employees eat at his restaurant already, but he might never profit from the homeowners, he said. Its something my children might profit from, he said.Jim Lovato was born in Minturn and has lived there his whole life. Even without Ginn, the town has changed in his lifetime, he said. Most of the people who grew up here have moved on, he said. Nowadays, the people who call themselves locals only stick around for three years or so. Lovato, who owns Burnett Plumbing & Heating in Minturn, doesnt know whether Ginn will help his business grow, but maybe after he passes it on to his son, Michael, he said. Its possible, he said. Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 748-2931 or email@example.com.