VAIL, Colo. — Always keen to make skiing as genteel as possible, Vail plans to install a snow-melting system on city streets.
A banner headline in the Vail Daily on Friday reported the event this way: "Vail Says No to Snow."
For traditionalists, there is no need to worry; some pockets of snow will be allowed to remain.
In April, Vail plans the first phase of a two-year streetscape construction program that will include installation of automatic snow-melting equipment on most Vail Village streets, producing dry walkways even in the middle of the heaviest blizzard.
The heated snowmelt system is part of an overall upgrade to Village byways approved last week by the Vail Town Council. It is expected to cost $3 million to $4 million.
Councilwoman Diana Donovan, a member of the streetscape planning committee, said that with the village's streets set to be torn up next spring for major underground sewer and water-main work, the town decided to capitalize on the opportunity and make some major aboveground changes.
"Now we won't have snowplows scratching up the streets, leaving big piles of dirty snow or going 'beep-beep-beep' all night and waking up the tourists," Donovan said.
With absolutely straight, plow-friendly streets no longer a necessity, Donovan said the streetscaping project will produce angled, undulating walkways and landscaping that will result in a much different look for much of the Village -- including areas that will still be snow-friendly.
"When the snow does fall, there will still be plenty of patches where it can stay and keep clean, so we'll still have a winter wonderland in the Village," she said.