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December 18, 2012
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Romero speaks about Base Village status

SNOWMASS VILLAGE - Related Colorado will be approaching Town Council with a minor PUD amendment early next year so it can begin work on the second phase of the Viceroy Snowmass, president Dwayne Romero told the officials Dec. 17.

Romero spoke to council about the progress of Base Village development since his company acquired the assets this fall. So far, Related has made improvements to the Arrival Center, released residences at the Viceroy Snowmass for purchase and recruited new tenants for Base Village retail spaces.

Next steps for the development are largely still unsettled.

"Clearly one of the due diligence questions (potential buyers) often have is: 'OK, what's next?' and 'What is the future vision for Base Village?'" Romero said. "In perfect candor and in being as forthright as we can be, we say we don't know."

Romero said the core questions he's asking don't involve how right or wrong the original PUDs were, but what the market will support now and a few years from now.

"How is it that families are visiting here?" he said. "What is most appealing to that demographic? What would the market suggest for sizes and composition of residences?"

He said those questions are more important than how many residences his company will build in Base Village.

With those issues in mind, Related will seek to make some minor changes to the former approvals for building 13B, the second phase of the Viceroy resort. The company will approach the council with that request early next year.

Councilwoman Markey Butler asked if Related was required by contract to make 13B another Viceroy building. Romero replied that it wasn't, but that the Viceroy's track record made it a good choice.

"Now you have a track record of strength and positive reception in the Viceroy operating group," Romero said. "The one bright star I think kind of pierced through all the crap was the Viceroy. We obviously need to move forward with selling (residences). I can't just build our way out of this."

Romero also spoke about new tenants opening commercial locations in Base Village. Those include a second location for Snowmass Bakery, an office for Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, a studio for Plum TV and Slice, a new pizza restaurant to be opened by Scott Calliham, owner of Base Camp (see Business Spotlight on page 6).

"We're going back to companies and people we think already have an understanding of the market," he said.

Related's partnership with Plum is a kind of "bartering program," Romero said. The company has asked Plum to increase its coverage of things going on in Base Village.

"Let's build some extra TV coverage, some extra vibe and just do something here in Base Village that hasn't happened here before," he said.

Mayor Bill Boineau thanked Romero for the improvements to the Arrival Center, which make it more ideal for dropping off skiers.

"I think that's really going to help our bottlenecking," Boineau said. "You should be commended for taking that on."

Romero said many hotel shuttles drop off skiers by the entrance to the Treehouse, but that his company is communicating to them to use the Arrival Center. He said signage there is not completed.

Boineau also asked Romero for the company's status on infrastructure improvements, including the roundabout that the owner of Base Village is contractually obligated to build at Wood and Brush Creek roads with some contribution from the town.

Romero didn't say specifically when his company would begin work on that, but he said to connect the timing with construction on 13B would make sense.

"We anticipate having some conversations with you a little bit later," he said.

jbeathard@snowmasssun.com


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The Aspen Times Updated Dec 18, 2012 07:01PM Published Dec 18, 2012 05:55PM Copyright 2012 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.