Effort to create valley retirement community reaches success | AspenTimes.com

Effort to create valley retirement community reaches success

Dear Editor:

With the purchase of a site in Basalt for a continuing-care retirement community, our task force has successfully completed its mission begun in 2006. We can proudly disband.

My purpose in writing this is to hit some of the high spots of the process and to be sure the community is aware of who they can thank for all the efforts in reaching our goal.

Our founding members were: Marty Ames, Ken Canfield, Dorothea Ferris, Helen Klanderud, Kris Marsh and Dave Ressler.

Subsequently added were: Sue Helm, Mick Ireland, John Kelleher, Nan Sundeen, John Sarpa and Bob Throm.

Aspen Valley Hospital, the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation, city of Aspen and Pitkin County shared in funding the first community survey of interest in the CCRC concept. With the positive results in hand we approached important current owners/operators of existing CCRC’s, hopeful that they would initiate an Aspen project; unfortunately they were uninterested.

We did discover that even the largest CCRC’s used specialized planning and development companies for their projects. After interviewing a number of them, we selected one to determine if an Aspen CCRC was economically feasible. Their conclusion was that it was.

The next step was to acquire a site. Kris Marsh accepted the task with the help of others. After a long sustained effort we had to conclude there were not feasible options in Aspen.

Focus groups met in both Aspen and Basalt to assess an alternative location in Basalt. Results were very positive and have led to the site location there.

An anonymous gift of $2 million to the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation for the project has allowed funding for preconstruction planning and development needs.

Aspen Valley Medical Foundation has officially taken sponsorship of the CCRC, which is a very important step to the viability and credibility of the project, and in due course will establish a new nonprofit for the project’s construction and operation.

Ken Canfield


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