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Avon (1884, 7,430 feet) was a D&RG rail town christened by a homesick English pioneer, William H. Nottingham, for the Avon Valley of his youth. The Nottingham Ranch House (c. 1898), 55 Village Road, is a two-story, L-shaped, hewn log house with a gable roof, stone chimney, expansive veranda, and log outbuildings, restored in 1989 as a restaurant. Until the 1970s Avon consisted of a few ram-shackle structures, including a post office, a log general store, and a one-room schoolhouse surrounded by ranches and potato and lettuce farms. With the ski boom, Avon gained a jetport, stylish new office buildings, shopping malls, and condominiums. The Avon Station Mobile Home Park houses hundreds of construction and service workers for Vail, Beaver Creek, and Arrowhead who cannot afford to live in the communities where they work. Avon's population has grown to over 2,000. Mayor Allen Nottingham, grand-son of the town's founder, admitted to the Rocky Mountain Newson February 5, 1989, “The vacant lots make us appear to be incomplete, but we hope to see the town developed to its capacity.” Skiingmagazine sniffed in November 1987 that Avon resembled “a municipal yard sale, a desperately uncoordinated checkerboard” crowned by “a great concrete toad [the Peregrine Hotel].”

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel

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