Related sends rally call for Base Village in Snowmass
The Aspen Times
Related Colorado is seeking support from the community in the form of letters to the Snowmass Village Town Council and local newspapers.
The developer is currently seeking an extension to its vested rights in Base Village, set to expire in November. At the first public hearing on the application Monday, 10 letters from residents and stakeholders were included in the documents that the Town Council was considering, all of them calling for denial.
On Wednesday, Shawn Gleason, vice president of Related Colorado, sent an email to about 10 people asking them to send letters to council members and to local newspapers in support of “forward progress in Base Village.”
Steve Alldredge, spokesman for Related Colorado, said the email was sent to people who came up to Related representatives after the meeting and voiced support as well as some of Gleason’s friends.
“We had people after the meeting voice their support and want to know how they could help,” Alldredge said. “We think it’s totally appropriate what Shawn did.”
Gleason’s email didn’t specifically mention the application.
“After the Snowmass Town Council meeting on Monday it’s clear that in order for Base Village to move forward we need some local support. I believe you share our vision of forward progress in Base Village versus the alternative of doing nothing,” Gleason wrote. “If you have 5 minutes we would greatly appreciate your support by sending an email to the following. We are not looking for letters in support of Related; the focus is to move forward in Base Village now.”
That was followed by the email addresses of three newspaper editors and Mayor Bill Boineau.
By forward progress, Gleason means approval of the application, Alldredge said.
Resident Jenny Roberts, an independent broker, wrote one of those emails of support.
“I couldn’t care less whether it’s Related that’s successful,” Roberts said in a phone interview. “I think it would be better to see it continue to move forward.”
The unfinished buildings in Base Village “makes us look like a worn-out, no-money-left resort,” she said. “It certainly needs to be finished.”
Roberts said she is not that familiar with Related’s current application but that the Base Village hotel proposed by Aspen Skiing Co. and the second phase of the Viceroy would both be a “huge plus.”
Greg Rulon, a resident and a real estate broker, also sent a letter to The Aspen Times and Snowmass Sun on Wednesday, although he said it was not prompted by Related. In that email, Rulon said that “change is necessary,” although he also emphasized that Related should be pressured to complete buildings, not just start them.
“If we are spending hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars every year for visitors to come but have nothing new to offer them, then let’s start and finish true one-of-a-kind experiences to have visitors come to Snowmass, and come back again for generations,” he wrote. “Halfway completed buildings and unfinished plans are not the way to move forward.
“We need to stop pointing the finger, work together, and make Snowmass, my home, even better tomorrow than it was yesterday.”
A third email, sent to editors on Thursday, encourages the town, Skico and Related to work together.
“As a local businessperson, I am relying on this world-class destination to continue growing and updating to be relevant for my clients,” said Stacey K. Kelly, also a broker and Rulon’s business partner. “It feels as if the town of Snowmass, Related/Snowmass Acquisition Co. and Aspen Skiing Co. all have the same goal, which is to make everyone — visitors, homeowners, other valley residents — realize that Snowmass Village (is) the place to be. We just have to work together to get through these details to achieve this goal.”
The Aspen Times and Snowmass Sun have received other letters to the editor in the past several weeks, most calling for the town to deny Related’s application.
Residents and stakeholders who want their comments to be included in the packet that the Town Council will consider with Related’s application can email email@example.com.
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There is a lot of pent up energy among hikers and bikers to get into the high country, but snow fields, avalanche debris and high stream crossings are presenting challenges later than usual. Forest rangers with the Aspen-Sopris District provide trail condition reports that are updated each week so hikers and backpackers aren’t caught unaware.