New use proposed for Burlingame Cabin on Snowmass

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times
The owners of the Burlingame cabin, located on a privately owned parcel within Snowmass ski boundaries, are proposing to remodel and change the use of the cabin to make it available for rent to cross country skiers.
Jeremy Wallace/The Aspen Times |

The owners of the Burlingame Cabin on Snowmass ski area are considering revamping the structure to accommodate day or overnight visitors in the winter and summer, similar in concept to a backcountry hut but just a short trek from the village.

The cabin, located on a private parcel surrounded by ski area land above the Scooper lift, was most recently being leased by Aspen Skiing Co. for snowcat dinner tours during the ski season. Two years ago, Skico stopped offering the tours as it expanded its offerings with the Lynn Britt Cabin and Elk Camp but also due to the outdated condition of the structure, said a letter to the town of Snowmass Village from Andrew Light.

“Seeing a great property go unused got us thinking: How can we take advantage of the parcel to create something unique in Snowmass?” Light wrote in his letter. “While Snowmass in some ways is better than ever, many of the activities from my childhood — such as cross country skiing to Gracie’s Cabin, breakfast horseback rides or sleigh ride dinners at the Divide cabin — are gone.”

Light is representing the cabin’s owners — his mother, Dianne Light, and Betsy Chaffin — in a pre-sketch process with the town, meaning that they are looking for feedback on the concept but haven’t submitted a land-use application yet. The owners are imagining an expanded or new cabin on the site that would be available to rent for day or overnight use for skiers, cross-country skiers, cyclists or Jeep tours, according to Light’s letter. Al Beyer Design, which has been involved with the 10th Mountain Division hut system, produced conceptual sketches that are included with Light’s letter to the town.

“The finish of the cabin would be cleaner and more comfortable than a 10th Mountain hut, but casual and rustic enough so that it felt much more like a cabin than a house,” Light wrote.

Skico is proposing to build similar huts within its boundaries, according to the Snowmass Master Development Plan it has submitted to the U.S. Forest Service. That plan is currently under review.

“These huts are intended to offer guests during winter and summer months, who may not have the proper equipment or sufficient stamina to use the backcountry huts systems, a similar on-mountain, overnight experience,” the Skico plan says.

Potential locations for the Skico huts include the Dikes, the woods between Slider and Turkey Trot, and the Elk Camp area, all which would be farther from the village than the Burlingame Cabin.

The Town Council is receive a presentation on the Burlingame Cabin concept at its regular meeting Nov. 16.


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