Snowmass base taking shape
The Aspen Times
Aspen CO, Colorado
SNOWMASS VILLAGE ” After years of planning and construction, Snowmass Ski Area will start to see a number of new places to eat, shop and stay in the village this winter.
Three restaurants, a nightclub, several shops and 77 condominiums are scheduled to open in Base Village for the 2008-09 season.
Though these will not be the first buildings to open in Base Village, they are the first retail openings for the planned $3 billion redevelopment. The Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center and Hayden Lodge, a 14-unit condominium building housed on the second through fifth floors of the Treehouse, both opened last winter.
On the mountain, a new high-speed quad chairlift and a new mountaintop restaurant also are planned, concluding Skico’s three-year, $80 million update of Snowmass Mountain.
Sweet Life, Sneaky’s Tavern, Sam’s Smokehouse, Junk and Liquid Sky are all scheduled to open during the coming ski season.
Sweet Life will include a 1950s-style diner upstairs and an ice cream parlor downstairs. It will be in the red barn building at the center of Base Village.
Directly across from Sweet Life will be a 10,000-square-foot restaurant and nightclub with two levels. The restaurant, called Junk, plans to serve food with natural and organic ingredients. According to owner Scott DeGraff, the tagline will be “Good Junk, Bad Junk (the only Junk your mom will let you eat).” It will open at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast and serve food all day.
The nightclub Liquid Sky will have four bars, including one outside where there will be lounges and private cabanas, according to DeGraff. He also has promised S’mores, tiki torches and an outdoor “recreational” shower. The establishment plans to offer all-day dining, lounging, apres-ski and special events.
Sneaky’s Tavern, at the base of Fanny Hill in the Capitol Peak Lodge, will offer indoor and outdoor seating and a bar that stretches between the two. The tavern-style restaurant plans to serve American bistro-style cuisine for lunch, apres and dinner.
The Skico, which will operate the restaurant, is still in the process of hiring a chef but will know more about the menu soon, said company spokesman Jeff Hanle.
On the mountain, Skico will open Sam’s Smokehouse at the top of the Village Express lift, atop Sam’s Knob, for lunch, apres and dinner. The restaurant will feature a barbecue-style smokehouse menu and what Hanle calls “expedited table service.” Waiters will put orders into a handheld computer device that sends the order straight back to the kitchen, and runners will bring the food out.
The restaurant, which will seat 175, will be a casual, family-friendly affair, Hanle said. A grab-and-go coffee bar near the entrance will provide light food and drinks.
Related WestPac hopes to open several retail establishments this winter, including Performance Ski, Generation Snowmass and Snowmass Style.
Performance Ski, owned by Lee Keating and husband Tom Bower, will be expanding from its Aspen store. It plans to carry clothing and equipment from brands such as Prada, Armani, Chiemsee and Post Card.
Generation Snowmass will also be expanding from its namesake Aspen location. The children’s clothing store carries toys, games, books, stuffed animals and clothing from brands such as Quicksilver, Uggs and Crocs.
Snowmass Style plans to sell Snowmass logo wear.
These will join the Beginner Magic/Four Mountain Sports store and the Four Mountain Kids Store, both of which opened last season.
The new Sheer Bliss chair serves 700 acres of the Big Burn area, accessing expert and intermediate terrain. The high-speed quad will replace the old Sheer Bliss chair, which many skiers avoided because it was slow.
The new ride time is nine minutes, half that of the old lift, Hanle said. He also noted that the lift starts lower on the mountain, making for easier access. In addition, it travels higher on the mountain, allowing skiers to access the Cirque Poma and the entire Big Burn area.
Capitol Peak Lodge, a new lodge offering 77 “modern mountain” condominiums, will also open this winter.
It will offer ski-in/ski-out access to the Elk Camp gondola and the Village Express chairlift. The one-, two- and three-bedroom condominiums are on the second through fifth floors of three buildings in Base Village.
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The Wheeler Opera House will remain dark into 2021, with current COVID-19 public health orders in place. Meanwhile, the masonry work on the exterior of the building will continue into July.