Vail Town Council approves final Nov. 8 ballot question asking voters to approve spending Conference Center Fund

By Real Vail
August 18, 2011

The Vail Town Council has approved a ballot question to ask Vail voters to reallocate existing funds once set aside to build a conference center. Voters will be asked to redirect the funds for three specific projects that have been identified following a multi-year information-gathering process. The council voted 5-0 at its Aug. 16 meeting to approve Resolution No. 12, which sets the question for the Nov. 8 regular election as follows:

Ballot Question No. 1

Without increasing taxes, shall the Town of Vail use the remainder of the one and one-half percent lodging tax revenues and one-half percent sales tax revenues collected from January 1, 2003 through December 31, 2005 to fund the following projects that will promote recreation, promote tourism and support the economy in the Town of Vail:

Expansion and improvement of the clubhouse at the Vail Golf Course and Nordic Center, including multi-use community space;

Field expansion and restroom renovation at the Ford Park Sports Complex; and

Ford Amphitheater improvements, including outdoor seating and restroom improvements?

Yes ______ No ______

The $9.4 million Conference Center Funds were collected following approval by voters in 2002 of lodging and sales taxes for the purpose of building and operating a conference center. In 2005, voters rejected a second ballot issue that would have increased the lodging tax to cover additional costs of construction and operation of the conference center.

In rejecting the tax increase, the electors also voted to terminate the existing tax and “either refund any remaining revenues from such taxes pursuant to such refund methodology as the town council determines or submit a question to the voters on how such revenues shall be used.” Since 2006, the council has been gathering information to submit a reallocation question to the voters in lieu of a refund. No tax increases are associated with the ballot question.

Key findings from a telephone survey in July found that a solid majority of Vail voters who took part in the survey are supportive of using the already collected tax dollars for the three improvements identified in the ballot question. Specifically, 67 percent indicated they would vote “yes” in support of a ballot measure, while 27 percent said they would vote “no.” The margin of error is plus-or-minus eight percent. The survey findings are available in their entirety on the town's website.

In voting to authorize the ballot question, council members noted the economic stimulus the projects would bring to the community before, during and after construction as well as partnership funding commitments offered by the Vail Recreation District and the Vail Valley Foundation. Additional details on the three projects are available on the town's website at

To take part in Vail's Nov. 8 regular election, voters must be registered by Oct. 10. To register, go to You may also verify if you are currently registered to vote at:

Vail electors will be voting in two different elections this November. The State and County elections will be held on Nov. 1, a week earlier than the town's regular election. The Town of Vail's charter requires the regular election to be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in odd numbered years. This is different than the election date requirements of the county and state.

In addition to the reallocation ballot question, Vail voters will select four Town Council members to fill the seats currently held by Dick Cleveland, Andy Daly, Margaret Rogers and Kim Newbury. While Newbury is term-limited, the three others are eligible to run for re-election, while the terms of Kerry Donovan, Kevin Foley and Susie Tjossem will continue to 2013. The election process officially begins Sept.19, when candidates will pick up and begin circulating nominating petitions to qualify for the ballot.

For additional election information, contact Vail Town Clerk Lorelei Donaldson at 479-2136.

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