Vail Town Council to consider second reading of budget ordinance for purchase of Vail Resorts’ controversial workforce housing site

The Vail Town Council voted to offer $12 million to Vail Resorts for an East Vail parcel, continuing condemnation of the parcel in order to protect the bighorn sheep habitat that's on the site.
Rick Spitzer/For the Vail Daily

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Vail Town Council approved the first reading of a budget amendment ordinance to fund its $12 million offer to Vail Resorts to purchase the 23.3-acre East Vail site. As approved, the budget supplemental would reallocate real estate transfer tax funds for the offer on the East Vail Workforce Housing Subdivision, commonly referred to as the Booth Heights site.

On Tuesday, Oct. 4 at its evening meeting, the Vail Town Council will re-consider this budget supplemental ordinance on second reading.

The council will also consider a method by which community members and organizations can make financial contributions toward the effort to preserve the property.

The supplemental amount of $12 million was the basis for an offer to purchase the property from Vail Resorts. The offer was officially made by the town on Sept. 21 via a letter sent by Town Manager Stan Zemler to the corporation. Vail Resorts has until noon on Oct. 3 to accept. The amount does not include any additional legal fees and expenditures that could accrue should the town’s offer not be accepted, and the current condemnation procedure continues.

“The town would prefer to acquire the Booth Heights Land from (The Vail Corporation) through a voluntary transfer. However, if the parties cannot agree on a purchase price, the town is authorized to acquire the Booth Heights Land through eminent domain and is prepared to do so,” Zemler wrote in the letter.

On Tuesday, Vail Town Council will also consider Resolution No. 47, which would establish a designated fund for public and private contributions toward any costs associated with the town of Vail’s pursuit to acquire the property for the purpose of conservation of habitat and open space. According to the town, this action is in response to requests from community members who wish to contribute to the preservation of the Vail bighorn sheep herd, the last remaining native herd in Colorado.

More information on the Booth Heights condemnation process can be found at

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