Skico is ready to make land deal |

Skico is ready to make land deal

The Aspen Skiing Co.’s anticipated purchase of about 500 acres of undeveloped land in Snowmass Village is scheduled to be finalized today, according to Skico attorney Dave Bellack.

The Skico’s ownership group, headed by the Lester Crown family of Chicago, negotiated the purchase from the Snowmass Land Co. The partners in that development firm, Norm Perlmutter and Gene Golub, are also Chicago businessmen.

The purchase price won’t be disclosed until the closing or when the transaction is recorded with Pitkin County, according to Bellack.

However, the deal involves some of the most valuable remaining property in Snowmass Village. It will cost the Crowns more than $10 million to buy out Snowmass Land Co., according to a source familiar with the project.

The transaction includes property known as Base Village, regarded as the critical parcel in Snowmass’ future. Although the Skico hasn’t prepared a new proposal, Base Village could include short-term tourist accommodations, retail shops, restaurants, new base-area chairlifts for the ski area, various skier services and transit centers, Skico President and CEO Pat O’Donnell said in an interview earlier this winter.

The Base Village property is centered around Lot A, the day-skier parking lot below the Fanny Hill lift.

The Skico previously co-owned the property with the Snowmass Land Co. Development proposals that included components that each of the partners desired failed to win approval from the town of Snowmass Village. The Skico had concentrated on ski area-related aspects of the plan. Its partners pushed for residential development.

“We’ve taken the original plan and just shelved it,” said O’Donnell. “We had a partner and the partner had some concepts that were very successful … so they had some preconceived notions because of their successes about what they wanted to do.

“Now that we’re alone on this, the ski company’s by itself, we’re starting from absolutely ground zero,” O’Donnell added.

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