Mordkin: Base Village hotel is condo complex
A Snowmass Village town councilman said Monday he’s lied to residents about a hotel that will be part of Base Village if the development is approved.Arnie Mordkin believes the Westin Hotel, which has been touted as an integral part of Base Village, is actually not a hotel but a large condominium development. He said he feels he’s misled and lied to the public but that his actions were not intentional. His confession arrived in the middle of a Town Council meeting last night, just nine days before the council renders its preliminary vote on Base Village. “I looked at myself in the mirror and said, ‘You know what, I have lied,'” Mordkin told a room of residents and officials from Intrawest and the Aspen Skiing Co., including Skico owner Jim Crown and Intrawest’s president of placemaking, Gary Raymond.
“[We] have to be honest and truthful to people in this community,” he added.Mordkin said the Westin’s rooms will be more like condominium units than hotel rooms since there are no lock-offs – doors that can be locked to separate rooms – and most of the units have two or more rooms. Plus, every unit in the Westin will be for sale, and owners can use them up to 21 days out of the year (the rest of the time, the rooms will be available to the public). Crown replied that the Westin is, in fact, a hotel. He said perhaps there is a misunderstanding of the terminology, adding that the internal configuration of the proposed hotel – condo-style while still offering rooms for the public – is now the norm in the industry. “It’s more common than not,” Crown said.
David Perry, Skico’s senior vice president, said the Westin’s proposed style is common these days because it’s more popular among vacationers. “It’s exactly what guests are looking for today,” he said. While Mordkin admitted that in this case there is no specific qualification to define what is and isn’t a hotel room, he was not persuaded by Crown’s reply. “Did it make me feel all warm and fuzzy?” he asked. “No.”
If Mordkin decides to vote against Base Village next Thursday, as he’s hinted, the project could be in jeopardy. In order for the massive development to pass, four of the five councilmen must vote favorably. If two vote no, the project will be sunk.But the rest of the council, Doug Mercatoris, Dick Virtue, Bill Boineau, and Mayor T. Michael Manchester, said they felt comfortable with defining the Westin – or any other hotel which may take its place – as a hotel and not condominiums. Furthermore, Mordkin said he’s open to solutions and he’s not yet made up his mind on how he’ll vote. Said Crown: “This sounds like a soluble problem.” Steve Benson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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