Snowmass Club sells for $18.5 million; sale includes 212 acres, golf course, two restaurants | AspenTimes.com

Snowmass Club sells for $18.5 million; sale includes 212 acres, golf course, two restaurants

The Snowmass Club sold for $18.5 million on Thursday to ABA Hospitality, a real estate development firm that submitted its offer eight months ago.

The 212-acre property — which includes the golf course and clubhouse, fitness facilities, two restaurants and tennis courts — has been under contract since April, according to ABA Hospitality CEO Scott Brown.

"It was a tough deal to get done, and there were a lot of moving parts," Brown said Thursday.

In an interview in July, Brown said he expected the sale to close for "around $20 million" by mid-August. He said Thursday that negotiations held up the process.

The San Francisco- and Naples, Fla.-based firm, which focuses on hospitality assets and luxury high-rise condominiums, bought the club from the Toll Brothers.

"With the sale of this size, there is a lot of research that needed to be done before it could be finalized," Toll Brothers VP of sales and marketing Bonnie Scoggins said.

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The Toll Brothers bought the club from Aspen Skiing Co. for $9.1 million in March 2013.

Brown relocated from San Francisco to Snowmass Village with his wife and two young children in September 2017.

He attended Aspen Elementary School before relocating to and growing up in Boulder.

After the sale closed Thursday, Brown sent an email to the Snowmass Club members introducing himself and informing them of the new ownership.

He also mentions a few initial changes and a capital budget to help "realize the (club's) full potential."

"Although the 'bones' of the Snowmass Club are solid, we know that improvements must be made in virtually all areas: golf, athletics, Sage Restaurant, tennis and club programming," Brown wrote in the letter.

In an interview with the Times, Brown said he's hired a design team to renovate the entire facility and "bring the club to the 21st century."

"Every space that's open, we're going to be touching it," he said.

While still under contract this summer, ABA Hospitality filled in three bunkers on the golf course, Brown said, noting they will get to more next season.

Other changes to the 18-hole golf course include restoring its private roots in some capacity.

"This is a private member club, it was started as a private member club and our intention is to try to get it back to that status," Brown said. "But it's going to take some time."

Down the pipeline, Brown intends to develop employee-housing units on a 1.3 acre-parcel adjacent to the Club Commons.

Asked how many housing units are in the works, Brown said he would seek approvals to build upon 40,000 to 50,000 square feet.

"We'll put as many as we can in there," Brown said, potentially "maxing out" at 50. "We know the land is there and we haven't started doing anything except preliminary discussion with the community."

Sage Restaurant will unveil a new menu Tuesday, and the Black Saddle Bar & Grill at the golf course will remain open year-round, Brown said. Previously the restaurant was open only during golf season.

For now, the club's hours will remain the same but could change.

New members can expect fees to reflect improvements to the club, Brown said, and current member rates will remain the same.

All told, he estimates the club boasts just more than 1,000 members.

In his letter, Brown encourages members to reach out directly with feedback regarding the club's future.

"Having met many members over the past seven months, I can see and feel the passion everyone has for this special place and recognize the importance the Snowmass Club has to this community," Brown wrote.

erobbie@aspentimes.com

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