New entryway for Snowmass means a joining of forces
“Everyone comes out ahead” in phase one of a planned new entrywayfor Snowmass Village, according to the project’s designers.Pooling land, resources, and a common desire to preserve the ruralaspect of the town’s entrance, four landholders have big plansfor the resort’s entrance – from the existing rodeo lot to theSnowmass Village Conoco. In all, the project will encompass some310 acres.The details of phase one, to cost an estimated $4.3 million, werepresented to the Town Council on Monday. The initial phase includesthe adjustment of property boundaries and laying the groundworkfor the entire project.”This is a rare instance where the net benefits for five entitiesare all improved. It will be more attractive, more functionalfor everyone,” said Bill Kane, vice president of development forthe Aspen Skiing Co. “We’ll be able to expand our golf program,the town will broaden its recreational facilities, the rodeo willbe updated, and the entire traffic circulation will be dramaticallyimproved.”Landowners in the joint project include the town of Snowmass Village,the Skico, Snowmass Village Recreational Land Co. and the SnowmassLand Co. The Snowmass Corp., while not a landowner, will alsoparticipate in the plan.Scheduled within the first phase of construction is expansionof the town’s recreational fields, the realignment of Brush CreekRoad, a new transit center in the vicinity of the Conoco station,and landscaping for the majority of the project.Subsequent phases will include expanding the rodeo parking lotfrom 400 to 650 spaces, a new Skico golf clubhouse and golf courseexpansion at its adjacent Snowmass Lodge and Club, rodeo facilityimprovements, a new town visitor center, and a wetlands restorationprogram.The big remaining question – how to split the cost of the ambitiousplan – seems to be the only issue dampening the partners’ sharedenthusiasm for the project. But it may be a good sign for theproject that the council member who brought up the money questionwas also the one to ask if construction could start this year.If all goes according to plan, with a speedy review of all applications,ground could be broken as early as this fall, Councilman JackHatfield was told.Bill Burwell, representing Snowmass Village Recreational LandCo. – owner of the rodeo facilities – stressed to his partnersthe unique opportunity posed by the proposal now on the table.”If we don’t lock this up, little things will chip it away,” Burwellsaid. “We’re never going to have this chance again.”The Town Council will meet on its own before the next joint discussionon the project, to take place in several weeks. Mayor T. Michael Manchester described the design’s progress asa “great evolution.” “I think we’re very close to making the step,” Manchester said.
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