Snowmass Club’s next phase gets first approval from town |

Snowmass Club’s next phase gets first approval from town

Brent Gardner-Smith

The Snowmass Village Town Council gave conceptual approval Monday night to the second phase of an extensive renovation and expansion of the Snowmass Club.

By a unanimous vote, the Town Council gave the Aspen Skiing Co. the green light to bring in a more detailed rendition of the proposal, which includes 21 new, 2,400-square-foot condos, a new 150-space parking lot, renovation of the club’s 18-hole golf course, a new golf clubhouse and a permanent indoor tennis facility to replace the luminescent tennis bubble now on the property.

“It’s a very complete resolution and now we have a pretty clear road map to move forward with,” said Bill Kane, the Skico’s vice president of planning and development. He spoke in the absence of Don Schuster, the company’s vice president of real estate, who has been spearheading the project.

The project is considered Phase II of the Club’s recent evolution. Phase I included a $3.5 million upgrade to the health club facility, an $8 million, 61-unit employee housing building, and 30 new timeshare condos built behind the original restaurant and bar area.

Those condos replaced the 76-room lodge that was never as successful as the company had hoped. The first of the new timeshare units opened last month, and the Skico said about 70 percent of the available ownership intervals have been sold.

Buyers purchase two weeks in the summer and two weeks in the winter, plus the option to use the units on a space-available basis for a nominal charge. Two-bedroom units are currently selling for $230,000 and three-bedroom units are selling for $340,000.

Under the town’s land-use terminology, the Skico was granted sketch plan approval for the second phase of the project. It can now submit a preliminary application and could then ultimately be granted a final approval.

In Snowmass Village, sketch plan approval is akin to conceptual approval in other jurisdictions. It’s a significant step as it signalizes the governing body is comfortable with the project and now wants to work out the details.

“It’s a good project,” said Snowmass Village Mayor T. Michael Manchester, who was joined in the unanimous approval of the Skico proposal by fellow board members Arnold Mordkin, Doug Mercatoris, Dick Virtue and Bob Purvis.

It was Purvis’ first official town council meeting. He was sworn in to replace Jack Hatfield, who stepped off the board to serve as a Pitkin County commissioner.

When the first phase of the Club’s renovation package was proposed, the Skico and the town agreed that an additional nine holes of golf would be a significant improvement to the community.

Now, the Skico intends to spend $7 million upgrading the existing golf course infrastructure and rearranging several holes.

The town and the Skico also agreed on other “community benefits,” such as improvements to Brush Creek as it flows by the club, easements for cross-country and pedestrian trails, and limited access to the golf course for full-time Snowmass residents.

The Skico expects to spend the next two to four months preparing detailed plans to present to the Town Council. Work on the golf course could begin this spring while work on the condo units is scheduled to start in 2002, depending on the approval process.

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