Transportation high among Breckenridge gondola lot concerns
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
BRECKENRIDGE ” For those who attended Wednesday’s open house regarding plans for the Breckenridge gondola lot and surrounding properties, transportation was high among issues discussed.
“Traffic issues will be addressed. That will be part of the master planning process,” town director of community development Peter Grosshuesch said.
The event at Breckenridge town hall aimed to gather community feedback. It began with an explanation of two options for the future of the area within Park Avenue and Main Street, and French Street and Ski Hill Road.
Bill Campie, of DTJ Design, presented two preliminary ideas ” “Extend the grid” and “Grand hotel” ” which he said were whittled down to from a field of about 20.
“The project really needs to have a heart and a place in Breckenridge, and not be, for instance, some type of base village that just happens to be mimicked here, or be some type of Disneyland experience,” Campie said.
He emphasized throughout the meeting that the project is in early stages and construction won’t likely occur for at least three years. He also said it will be conducted in phases.
“It’s very market dependent, obviously,” Campie said.
As the town’s transportation hub, the area is planned to continue offering parking space for about 1,200 cars and a transit station. Both concepts presented include parking garages with one story underground and three above.
Under the “Grand hotel” plan, hotel parking would be available beneath the structure, separate from the garages.
Both concepts also allow for 201 or more units of single-family affordable housing. Some units would be built along borders of parking garages with possible private access from each unit.
Addressing town council’s sentiment toward the “Grand hotel” plan, Campie said its anticipated “hot bed occupancy” would keep the area vibrant. The “Extend the grid” plan would likely result in more condominiums and townhomes, which tend to have lower occupancy rates.
“The danger there is the place starts to go dead and not have the kind of street life that we need and want,” he said.
The grid plan could also create competition for Main Street businesses, as it would add about 40,000 commercial square feet. The hotel plan would add about 30,000 commercial square feet.
“And a lot of that was actually in the hotel, so probably half as much on the street,” Campie said.
He also said the hotel could add “more truth” to the design.
“Kind of trying to mimic town with architecture really doesn’t tell the right story, and maybe by coming up with doing this ‘Grand hotel’ thing, we can make its own thing and not try to be mimicking something that’s already in place,” he said.
Locomotive No. 9 is included in both plans as an attraction to lure folks exiting the gondola into town rather than the parking lots. Proposals include running the locomotive off compressed air to give visitors a brief ride to Main Street.
Campie said Vail Resorts owns about 79 percent of the gondola area. The town owns the remainder, and both are working toward a solution.
Additional audience contributions Wednesday included suggestions for creating a hybrid of the two proposals and moving the post office into the area.
“Everything’s on the table at this point,” Campie said.
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