Holiday House remains in limbo
Plans for the Holiday House worker housing, owned by the Aspen Skiing Co., remain in limbo while the company explores its options for the property and its housing needs in general.The Skico had proposed tearing down the two aging Holiday House buildings on West Hopkins Avenue and building new housing that would increase the project’s capacity from 64 to 74 beds, but neighbors voiced opposition. The project was pulled from a City Council agenda last month and continued to Monday night’s meeting, but now it has been withdrawn entirely.The Holiday House remains an active application in the city’s planning office, said David Corbin, the Skico’s vice president of planning, but it is off the council’s plate indefinitely.”We’re still just going back and essentially evaluating all of our options with regards to the Holiday House as an employee housing option for us,” he said.The company is also considering commissioning an assessment of its future housing needs with an eye toward how to meet them. With its options to provide more housing in Aspen and Snowmass Village limited, the company may look at the broader valley for housing opportunities, Corbin said.”We don’t want to sprawl downvalley with affordable housing if we can help it,” he added.The company is seeking approval of its plans for Club Commons II in Snowmass, which would add 120 more beds to its housing inventory.The Skico boosts its winter work force by about 2,000 people, but many of them reside in the valley year round. It currently has about 300 beds of its own to offer seasonal employees who come from outside the area.Many of last winter’s arrivals had a tough time finding housing in the upper valley, and at one point the local housing office put out a plea to locals with rooms to spare to put them up for rent. Despite the crunch, most of the Holiday House was closed all season because of the building’s condition. Only the smaller annex building, containing nine one-bed units, was rented out.”There certainly is a shortage, but we just really felt it had become significantly substandard,” Corbin said.The future of the Holiday House, he said, boils down to three options: leave it as it is, remodel it or press forward with the redevelopment plan.”The Holiday House is still something we don’t want to completely forego as a housing site or an opportunity. We just don’t know how best to pursue it,” Corbin said. “I’m sure we will do something. At the very least, I think we would seriously consider the remodel option.”Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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