Base Village retail by the numbers | AspenTimes.com

Base Village retail by the numbers

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

How much commercial space is proposed for Base Village depends on how you look at it.

Intrawest says its project proposed for the base of the Snowmass Ski Area has 80,693 square feet of “pure” or “viable” retail.

But, Intrawest Vice President Paul Shepherd agrees there is another 77,000 square feet of other commercial space in the project and that some of it could be considered “retail” space.

Chris LeTourneur, a retail consultant brought in by the town of Snowmass Village, pointed out, for example, that the project’s 12,410-square-foot jazz club could be considered commercial.

And if the jazz club was counted, it would boost the “viable” commercial in Base Village up to about 93,000 square feet.

And that’s close to the 100,000 square feet of vibrant retail space LeTourneur says is necessary for a modern resort village.

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He suggests an ideal mix of the 100,000 square feet be broken down into 35,000 square feet of restaurants, 30,000 square feet of retail stores,12,000 square feet of convenience retail, 8,000 square feet of service retail, and 15,000 square feet of entertainment space.

“You can get to 100,000 pretty quickly,” LeTourneur said.

The Snowmass Town Council, or at least a four-fifths majority of it, agreed on Monday that 100,000 square feet of commercial was the right amount of space needed to develop a “critical mass” in the new village.

And they agreed that if in the future there were 70,000 square feet of “viable” retail on the existing Snowmass mall and another 30,000 square feet of retail space at the existing Snowmass Center, that would be OK as well.

Today, there is 75,800 square feet of ground-floor restaurant and retail space on the mall and 23,000 square feet at the Snowmass Center.

The board’s conclusion was bolstered by LeTourneur’s recent analysis that showed a new Base Village could prompt visitors to spend $89 million more in Snowmass Village instead of spending it down the road in Aspen. If so, LeTourneur said Snowmass Village could support a total of 195,000 square feet of “true” retail.

In all, there is almost 160,000 square feet of commercial space proposed for Base Village, with 80,000 of that considered “true” retail and restaurant space. The other half is comprised of other uses including a day lodge, a conference center and a children’s facility.

[Brent Gardner-Smith’s e-mail address is bgs@aspentimes.com.]