Landowner donates 137 acres to Snowmass Village | AspenTimes.com

Landowner donates 137 acres to Snowmass Village

Chad Abraham

Snowmass Village officials are not shy about their feelings for open space.Anytime they can get their hands on land and preserve it, they jump at the chance. So it didn’t take much persuasion when a former Snowmass Village homeowner offered to donate 137 acres of private land near the Campground chairlift at Snowmass Ski Area. Especially given the price – free – and considering that he wanted nothing in return.Norman Perlmutter, former president of the Snowmass Land Co., approached the town about a year ago, and the deal was finalized last week.”This land was given to us. It’s not like we’re buying it,” Mayor Doug Mercatoris said. “We’re very excited that we’re going to be able to get this land into the public’s hands. Anytime we can [do that], the better off we are. Land is very precious in Snowmass Village.”He said Perlmutter’s gift was likely done in thanks “for the years that he was a successful businessman here.”Perlmutter was not available for comment Tuesday.The land is on part of the lower Slot trail west of the Krabloonik dogsled and restaurant operation and comes with a ski easement. Located across from the Divide subdivision, it is the site of several popular mountain biking and hiking trails. Town Manager Mike Segrest said the current uses of the trails would be preserved.”It’s a wonderful gift for the town,” he said.At a council meeting last week, Councilman John Wilkinson voiced fears that mountain bikes would be banned from the trails as part of the open-space deal. But Segrest said Wilkinson’s concerns were brought up with the Perlmutter family, which agreed to allow activities historically associated with the trails, including mountain biking.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com