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February 26, 2014
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Liquor store moving to Snowmass Center front

Sundance Liquor and Gifts is moving from its location in the heart of the Snowmass Center to the spaces formerly occupied by Aspen Sports and the Snowmass Bakery at the front of the building.

The move places the store in a larger, more visible location and allows Clark’s Market, which is taking over Village Market’s lease after ski season, to expand into Sundance’s space rather than the hallway in front of the grocery.

“The new Sundance will be a more modern store in a more visible, street-front location,” said Barbara Bakios-Wickes, who with her husband, Steve Wickes, has owned and operated Sundance in the same location for almost 35 years.

Sundance will continue to offer its current selection of liquor, gifts and other drugstore items, a statement from the Wickes said. The new location will have an improved wine-tasting area, a larger walk-in “beer cave” and increased storage, the statement said.

“The new large storage area will allow us to buy in greater volume, which is how we keep our prices reasonable,” Bakios-Wickes said.

Demolition work has begun already in the storefront spaces Sundance is moving to, said Dwayne Romero, president of Related Colorado, which owns the building. Most of the construction and moving will occur during offseason, and he hopes that Sundance will reopen in late May if not sooner.

“This may surprise some people, but our experience with Related has been a positive one,” Steve Wickes said. “We are an example of a locally owned and locally serving business, and the local Related team has bent over backwards to make sure that we can continue.”

Grocery expansion

Related Colorado, which owns the building, caught flak from residents last fall when it didn’t renew a lease with Village Market and instead accepted a bid for the space from Clark’s Market. Apart from their preference for the 35-year tenant, some residents and employees in Snowmass Village took issue with the new grocer’s plan to expand into the hallway that connects the post office to the rest of the center.

Maureen Kerr, who works in a Snowmass Center office, wrote a letter to the editor of The Aspen Times last fall decrying the change in tenants. For her, it was mostly about the people who worked there, she said.

If it has to happen, though, it will be nice to still have the hallway, Kerr said.

“So many people, that’s where we see each other every day, walking to the post office and to the market,” Kerr said. “(It’s) definitely where I see most of the people I do business with.”

The expansion of the grocery space will start after Sundance has finished moving. Clark’s Market said it will announce plans soon regarding a grocery offering during the construction.

Related is working with interested businesses on leasing two office spaces along the hallway that are vacant, Romero said. He expects to have those filled by summer.

“This is going to add just a good sense of additional boost of energy and vitality, a better customer experience, ... two new stores, all brand-new finishes, great operators and spaces that are 100 percent full,” Romero said. “That’s a good thing for everyone.”

“We’re looking forward to a fully occupied Snowmass Center with all the lights on,” Bakios-Wickes said.

In the mid-2000s, Related was applying to do a full remodel of the Snowmass Center. That is not on the radar, at least for the next few years, Romero said.

“That’s why we’re making these types of commitments to try to improve and enhance the overall experience here of the existing center,” he said. “Who knows 10, 20 years from now, but right now these are our focused plans.”

jbeathard@snowmasssun.com

“We’re looking forward to a fully occupied Snowmass Center with all the lights on.”
Barbara Bakios-Wickes
Owner, Sundance Liquor & Gifts


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The Aspen Times Updated Feb 26, 2014 12:06PM Published Mar 4, 2014 10:36AM Copyright 2014 The Aspen Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.