Snowmass Club plans to build new residences

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times
A lone golfer putts on the ninth hole at the Snowmass Club golf course last summer. The club's owner/operator has announced it will submit plans for some redevelopment on its property within the next two months.
Aspen Times file |

The Snowmass Club announced Thursday that it will soon submit plans for redevelopment of a portion of its 217-acre property to the town of Snowmass Village.

Representatives of the club — which comprises residences, a fitness center, tennis courts, two restaurants and an 18-hole golf course — declined to provide specifics of the plan, but a statement said the plans will include new residential and employee housing and donation of some land to the Anderson Ranch Arts Center.

“We’ve had discussions with Anderson Ranch and their need for expansion because of great things that are happening with their programming,” said Don Smith, Snowmass Club general manager, who added that the club has discussed plans with neighbors Snowmass Chapel and Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District as well. “How can we all collectively work together? … That’s really how our discussions have been, and that’s what we’re working towards.”

The Snowmass Club was built by Aspen Skiing Co. more than 25 years ago. Toll Golf, a developer of golf communities, acquired the property from Skico in spring 2013 and spent half a million dollars renovating the clubhouse.

Donating land adjacent to the ranch means cutting into the golf course, so some holes will have to be realigned, Smith said. The course was redesigned in 2003 by golf architect Jim Engh.

For Anderson Ranch, the land would mean the arts center can remain on its unique Snowmass Village campus, where it has been for 49 years, while continuing to expand its reach. In the short term, Executive Director Nancy Wilhelms said the expansion would allow the center to add to its educational outreach and meet its current and future housing needs.

“This is going to allow us to plan and grow for the next 50 (years),” Wilhelms said. “The biggest piece is that we’ll be able to retain our unique Anderson Ranch experience, and that comes from our culture and our heritage that we have on our current site.”

The Snowmass Club also has reached out to the chapel and fire district, both located adjacent to the ranch on Owl Creek Road. Added parking with the Anderson Ranch Arts Center expansion would benefit the chapel, as both currently share a lot. And while the club has offered land as a potential site for a new fire station, Smith was careful not to speak to the department’s view on that.