Just big enough | AspenTimes.com

Just big enough

Dear Editor:The Base Village project has undergone approximately four years of intense study and scrutiny. The project has been analyzed by the town’s staff, the Town Council, the Planning and Zoning Commission, myriad professional consultants and by the public. The project has been unanimously approved by the Town Council after all of this debate, study and compromise. Let’s trust our elected officials and staff when they tell us Base Village is just big enough. I say vote “yes” on Base Village.Snowmass’ economy has been steadily declining over the past six years. It is of utmost importance to the Base Village discussion that one recognizes this economic malaise. The role of the Base Village is to provide a major cornerstone (not the sole element but an important one) for stimulating economic activity. With this as the objective, one can better understand how the current Base Village evolved. As my friend Bob Purvis is fond of saying, it needs to be just big enough to have any chance at succeeding in accomplishing the goal. Thus, when you look at the plan in detail you will find 60,000 to 70,000 square feet of commercial space (62 percent of which is devoted to food and beverage), conference facilities, performing arts, aquatic center, two major hotels – one a quality one on the level of a Westin and the other, The Little Nell at Snowmass. As a matter of fact, 42 percent of the residential units are hotel and the bulk of the remainder of the units are set up to facilitate high occupancy turnover (so-called “hot beds”). In addition, there are the multitude of ski related amenities – Sam’s Knob Express, Fanny Hill Cabriolet, the Elk Camp Gondola and, most important of all, a 25,000-square-foot children’s center that will function both summer and winter.The key to the Base Village project is the balance of these various elements – commercial, residential and amenities. Base Village should not be smaller. The community goal for Base Village is to provide economic stimulus. A smaller project would not provide the number of hot beds in relation to the commercial and the amenities to succeed. If I thought this were possible, I would not be supporting the present plan.I urge all those concerned with the future of Snowmass to vote “yes” on Base Village.Guy DeCarloSnowmass Village