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Snowmass needs Fritz’s vision

If Mr. Richard Lanman’s assessment of the new Base Village at Snowmass is near to being correct (Aspen Times, June 26), another blunder akin to the new Highlands base village is about to be foisted on our beautiful ski slopes.

Such visionary architects as Fritz Benedict, who designed Snowmass, are being shamed and negated.

Times do change and Snowmass is desperately trying to work its way out of a business slump. But does such a project promise a panacea for the business community of Snowmass? If Mr. Lanman is right, the millions spent will be largely wasted and could lead to a nasty bankruptcy.

I had the great privilege of helping the development of “Snowmass at Aspen” starting in 1966. Fritz Benedict envisioned two larger villages (East Village and West Village) on either side of the ski area (the second at the base of Burnt Mountain).

In between would be a number (11 to 13) of small European-style walking villages – all tied together by a small, unique tram. He even created a large plaster model (one for summer and one for winter).

They were so imaginary and unique that we sold millions of dollars of lots and condominiums to be built. He even had a small chapel tucked under Woodrun.

Would the results of an area such as Fritz Benedict envisioned have been more successful? Who knows, but I think so. Is it too late to incorporate some of Fritz’s vision now, and make a really beautiful and unique Snowmass at Aspen? I hope not!

Taylor Gamblin

Aspen


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