Hotel in works as part of Basalt trailer park redevelopment
BASALT – The new owner of the Pan and Fork Mobile Home Park envisions building an upscale hotel or lodge as part of the redevelopment of the property.
The Roaring Fork Community Development Corp. (CDC) is looking into the feasibility of developing a 75- to 80-room hotel that would be a “three-and-a-half star” property, according to CDC President Michael McVoy.
“We are in negotiations with the Aspen Skiing Company and other partners about a possible hotel at the Pan and Fork,” McVoy said.
He declined to disclose the other parties involved in the talks. The Skico’s role is yet to be defined, he said. It could range from helping with development, management or both, according to McVoy; or the Skico could merely be an adviser. That is still to be determined.
Dave Bellack, Skico senior vice president and general counsel, downplayed its role in development of a hotel at this point.
“There’s definitely not a certainty but there’s a possibility” of the Skico getting involved in the project, Bellack said. “Whether there’s a place for us or not, we really don’t know. It’s too early in the process.”
Right now, Skico officials are looking at a rectangle on a piece of paper and talking through the possibilities with CDC, Bellack said.
CDC is working on a redevelopment plan for 2.3 acres of the mobile home park in the heart of Basalt. It acquired the entire 5.3-acre property in August for $3.25 million, then immediately sold 2.9 acres to the town of Basalt for $1.2 million. Basalt bought the part of the property that cannot be developed because of flooding potential. It used open space funds for the purchase and will create a park alongside the Roaring Fork River.
CDC retained the land closest to Two River Road, which can be developed without as great of flood threat. The possible pieces of the redevelopment plan include restaurants, retail space, housing, nonprofit offices, a preschool and a Colorado Mountain College facility. Rocky Mountain Institute, a renowned conservation and energy nonprofit based in Old Snowmass, intends to relocate its office next door to the property. The Roaring Fork Conservancy plans to build a educational river center nearby.
McVoy said a hotel would be a good addition to the mix. It is high on the wish list of town officials, he said. He envisions a tourist accommodation that is not as upscale as what is typical in Aspen, but nicer than found in Basalt and Carbondale.
“We’re hoping to begin breaking ground by the end of 2013,” he said.
Various proposals have been floated for upper scale hotels in Basalt in recent years. The recession dashed the plans. The Willits Town Center’s approvals include a hotel. A hotel has also been approved along the Highway 82 Basalt Bypass, east of Stubbies bar. A foundation was poured for the building, but the project stalled.
McVoy said he believes development of a hotel is still feasible in this economic environment or he wouldn’t be involved in negotiations.
A critical first step in redevelopment will be finding alternative housing for the 75 or so residents of the 38 trailers on the property. The Basalt town code requires CDC and the town government to replace the 38 affordable housing units being displaced. CDC wants to go beyond the code requirement and offer housing specifically to the current residents, McVoy said. It is weighing various options on the type and location of that housing.
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