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Snowmass Council planning a ski trip

Brent Gardner-Smith

The Snowmass Village Town Council will likely go on a ski trip this winter in an effort to better visualize what should be built at the base of the Snowmass Ski Area.

At a town council work session Monday night, Skico Vice President of Planning and Development Bill Kane presented a suggested schedule of informal discussions about ski area development. And he also suggested that the Town Council join the Skico on a tour this winter of Whistler, Park City, The Canyons, Deer Valley, Telluride, Beaver Creek and Copper Mountain.

Kane told the council that it would be helpful for the council members to see firsthand how other resorts have developed their base area facilities. Council members and Skico planners would then share a common language about design elements from different buildings and base areas – a language that would be helpful during the upcoming review of Base Village at Snowmass.

The council members agreed, noting that there was $10,000 in the town budget for council trips this year.

“I think this tour thing is extremely valuable,” said Snowmass Village Mayor Michael Manchester.

After some discussion, they agreed to look at spending at least two days in Whistler and two days in the Park City area, looking at The Canyons and Deer Valley. After that, a day trip might be scheduled to Copper Mountain and Beaver Creek. The town council also has a retreat tentatively scheduled for January in Telluride and discussed meeting with Skico officials there to see what they like and dislike.

During Monday’s session, Manchester presented a series of slides of condominium projects at The Canyons, Deer Valley, and Solitude. He took the photos while attending a meeting of the Colorado Association of Ski Towns.

Manchester led an informal discussion about the height, scale, architectural quality, and interior layout and finish of a number of projects, including the new Grand Summit hotel at The Canyons which soars up to 10 stories tall, and The Lodge at Deer Valley.

It’s the type of discussion the Skico is hoping to have with the town council throughout the winter, prior to any formal submissions of a plan for Base Village in Snowmass.

Beginning in January, the Skico wants to meet with the council at work sessions to discuss comparable resorts, the state of the bed base in Snowmass Village, and the demographics of the Snowmass customer. Other topics might include public/private finance mechanisms, and real estate development and management concepts.

Then, as the meetings move into the areas of transportation and design issues in late March and April, the work sessions would take on a more formal tone, and would be held under the town’s provisions for a “pre-sketch plan.”

Monday’s work session was, in effect, the nose of the Base Village camel being stuck under the tent of the Snowmass Village Town Council. And the elected officials beckoned the rest of the animal to come in.

“It’s a great opportunity,” said Manchester, who stressed that he would like to make sure that interested residents can hear the presentations from the Skico and the resulting discussions.

Other town council members agreed.

“There are folks out there looking for a way to participate in this kind of stuff,” said Bob Purvis, who was recently appointed to take Jack Hatfield’s seat on the council.

The Skico also welcomed the public’s participation. Kane explained that the company has been doing a lot of work on Base Village and wanted to give the community some context before simply unveiling a detailed plan for the base area, which today consists of several parking lots, the Skico’s administration building and a vehicle maintenance shop.


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