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The fate of a proposed $13 million, 19-acre recreational vehicle park, which has divided the small town of Minturn, Colo., will be put to a vote among the 1,100 residents, according to a report in the Vail Daily News.
Town leaders are asking voters to decide whether the town should lease 38 acres of town-owned land to a developer who wants to build the elaborate RV park, which would include 75 RV spaces, 32 cabins and two large family cabins.
Approval of the measure would give the Town Council authority to continue negotiating with Rocky Mountain RV Resorts, but the council would still have to give the project final approval.
Part of the developer’s package includes granting the town access to a 12,000-square-foot community recreation center and a 4,000-square-foot pavilion at no expense.
Proponents of the park say it can add up to $186,000 in sales tax, lease payments and other fees to town coffers in its first year of operation and up to $3 million over its first 10 years. Park visitors are expected to also spend an average of $89 per day at Minturn’s businesses and elsewhere.
Opponents fear the development will change the character of their community, which has clung to its small-town roots, while all around it resorts like Vail and Beaver Creek have mushroomed.
“We can stick to what makes us great or go the way the rest of the valley went and have condo after condo,” said Tom Sullivan, a town councilman and owner of the Minturn Inn. “We like the small-town nature and intimacy of knowing your neighbor.”
The park is a bad deal for the town and that if it’s built, it will add more traffic to streets that he says are already clogged, Sullivan said.
Supporters like Harry Gray, a commercial landlord who also runs Harry’s Bump and Grind Coffee Shop and Art Gallery, says the town needs the money just to keep the status quo.
“It’s a good thing for Minturn. Minturn has no money under the mattress for a contingency fund” he said. “The town is one water or sewer hiccup away from where Red Cliff is — no funds, no plan and nothing to fall back on.”