Base Village? Yes " but smaller |

Base Village? Yes " but smaller

Aspen seems to have it all ” a worldly image, skiing, cultural attractions, schools, a downtown vibrancy, and diverse services. Snowmass Village is a ski resort and a company town, with a leading ski mountain (and all its natural beauty), important to Snowmass, Aspen, and the entire valley.

Despite their interdependence and differences, Aspen and Snowmass Village have some items in common: 1. Beautiful mountains; 2. Many retail and restaurant businesses that fail and close; and 3. High property values. Many observers blame store closings on high rentals and high property values.

The developers of the base village in Snowmass Village propose a massive development allegedly to improve business prospects in the town. Now, there are two views of the effect of this huge development on property values in town ” higher or lower. The supply-siders say new and more expensive properties will attract more and richer people and raise all property values, or “a rising tide lifts all boats.” The supply-and-demand people say all that new capacity will reduce property values, since the proposed new attractions will not proportionally increase demand.

The Village will then be in a lose-lose situation. Higher property values will make business more difficult, and most people don’t want lower property values. Take your pick.

So the proposed “new” Snowmass will have 50 percent more capacity in the winter, maybe 40 percent more transient population in winter, and maybe 10 percent more people in the off-seasons. Hence, the seasonally effects on business will be worse, another adverse factor.

In other words, we are all asked to take a huge risk associated with massive development to provide big profit to the real estate industry.

Jim Heywood

Citizens for Responsible Growth