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BROOMFIELD, CO-Six months after announcing the project, Vail Resorts Inc. is revealing more detailed plans for the $1-billion Ever Vail project, believed to be the largest LEED-certified, multi-use resort development project in the nation. The locally based public company plans to convert its 9.5-acre West Lionshead brownfield site into a ski resort.

The property currently houses Vail Mountain’s vehicle maintenance shop yard and warehouse, a gas station, and a retail and office complex. The new resort is slated to include 150 to 250 whole ownership condominium units, 75 to 125 fractional ownership condos, a 100,000-sf hotel, a 100,000-sf mountain operations facility, and 100,000 sf to 150,000 sf of retail, office, and restaurant space.

The project will also feature a public parking garage, a new gondola, a related skier portal and public park, and affordable housing. In total the new resort will encompass approximately one million sf and include between 600,000 sf and 700,000 sf of saleable residential and commercial space.

First announced in March, the project was accepted into the pilot program for LEED’s new “Neighborhood Development” certification program in June, putting it on the path to becoming the largest LEED-certified project for resort use in the nation. Vail Resorts anticipates that the sales aspect of the project won’t begin until at least 2009 because plans must still be approved by the Town of Vail.

Meantime, Vail Resorts has expounded on a number of aspects of the project, including many of the eco-sensitive measures that will be used to become LEED-certified. The list includes using only woods certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and local area beetle-kill Lodgepole pine trees in building construction; using ground source heat pumps to harness energy that would be used to melt snow on streets; using small hydro micro-turbines in Gore Creek to power the outdoor streetscape lighting in public areas; using reclaimed water from snowmelt for toilets washing all mountain operations vehicles; and using living roofs on several of the buildings within the project to help reduce solar heat accumulation and storm water runoff; and establish a “flex car” program.

Vail Resorts operates ski resorts in the US, which includes operating the ski resort itself and associated lodging, and developing surrounding real estate. The company will report its fiscal fourth quarter this week, which covers the non-skiing months of May, June and July, so a significant loss is expected. The hope for investors is that the related quarterly conference call will hold solid expectations for the rapidly approaching ski season.

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