The most contentious development proposal ever to hit the town of Vail was finally resolved on Tuesday, July 10. Voters overwhelmingly approved developer Peter Knobel's plan to tear down the 37-year-old Crossroads building and replace it with Solaris, a 600,000-square-foot condo-and-retail complex complete with a bowling alley and arcade. The special vote saw the highest turnout for any Vail municipal election; out of 1,577 votes cast, 1,110 of those were for the project, while 467 were against.
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The Vail Town Council had originally turned down the project, then approved a revised proposal in March. But adversaries of Solaris -- who felt that the building was too big for Vail Village's quaint Bavarian aesthetic ("Vail at the Crossroads," May 4) -- engineered a referendum on the council's approval. The small-town debate got big-city headed as the rival campaigns took out newspaper ads, conducted get-out-the-vote drives and private polls, and even threatened a lawsuit ("A Hit for the Village People" .) But in the end, the village people spoke. And they want to go bowling. — Jared Jacang Maher