Lift lines and Base Village |

Lift lines and Base Village

Since the early 1970s, my family and I have skied Snowmass. We have also enjoyed many other ski resorts in the United States over the years. Eleven years ago we became homeowners at Top of the Village condominiums ” Unit Slope 301 and now ski only at Snowmass.

I have read much about the Base Village “story.” I’m concerned that the developers, including the Aspen Skiing Co., are overcome with the conclusion that in order for Snowmass to compete with other resorts and improve its market, it must pursue an overly ambitious, overwhelming, comprehensive and desperate “re-build” of Snowmass Village. I sincerely doubt that an honest assessment of the skiing public’s and the Snowmass Village property owners’ needs and wants has been made.

The town has a comprehensive plan (ordinances), and it appears that the intentions for Base Village are not compliant with the plan. Noncompliance could result in significant and various litigation from many directions, which Snowmass cannot afford. Danger lurks here.

I am particularly concerned that Skico may go overboard to support the developers by consolidating excessive ski lift loading sites at Base Village. This consolidation will create intolerable congestion resulting in long lift lines, accidents and injuries.

Certainly, occupants of Base Village are entitled to ski-in/ski-out facilities, but such should not require that the majority of present and future Snowmass skiers (including homeowners and significant taxpayers) be compelled to join the congestion at Base Village.

If the Fanny Hill lift, which already requires long waiting, is to be relocated at Base Village, then by all means, the Coney Glade lift should begin at the mall. Beginning the Coney Glade lift at the mall will reduce congestion (avoiding accidents and injuries) and will provide some viability to the commercial entities at the mall. Having no lift at the mall will surely result in boarded-up businesses.

The stores, restaurants and other commercial entities at the mall have been longtime supporters of the Skico and the town of Snowmass ” and not having mountain ski lift access at the mall will unfairly impact their livelihood.

A properly designed Base Village should benefit Snowmass Village, homeowners, visitors and, of course Skico and the developers. However, extreme changes can endanger Snowmass, especially those adversely affecting the service to the skier ” the very foundation of Snowmass.

The proposed extreme changes will give Snowmass the reputation of being a congested nightmare of long lift lines when trying to get up the mountain (certainly the wrong impression to give visiting skiers), as well as the damaging perception that the mall is a ghost town. After all, the mall has served as the center of Snowmass since the resort was born.

I predict that such perceptions would spread throughout the skiing community by the media and by word of mouth, resulting in the death of “the goose that laid the golden egg.” The “hoped for” market share of the skiing public and revenues will plummet ” but by that time, the developers will be gone, having taken their profits with them.

The Town Council must act wisely to fulfill the responsibilities entrusted to it by its constituents and property owners. Thank you for your time and attention to this critical matter.

William E. Boehringer, DDS, MS

Snowmass Village and

Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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