Snowmass Village makes offer for Burwells’ rodeo grounds |

Snowmass Village makes offer for Burwells’ rodeo grounds

Brent Gardner-Smith

The Snowmass Village Town Council has made a formal offer to purchase the 21-acre rodeo grounds parcel at the entrance to the resort community.

The amount of the offer made to the Snowmass Recreational Land Company, which is owned by Bill and Rod Burwell, has not been disclosed. But it is within the limits of the $3.59 million approved by Snowmass Village voters last November, according to T. Michael Manchester, the mayor of Snowmass Village.

The Burwells are expected to attend an executive session with the members of the Town Council Friday to discuss the offer.

“They haven’t said yes or no to anything,” said Manchester.

The Burwells purchased the parcel for $1.75 million five years ago and have been trying to sell it in the past year for $5.5 million.

Last Tuesday, the Town Council passed a resolution reinforcing the town’s desire to purchase the rodeo parcel.

“The Town Council has concern that the Snowmass Village rodeo, a summer public amenity which is operated on the rodeo property, may be discontinued since the property has been under contract for sale twice recently, and the owner of the property has informed the Town Council that the property may be marketed for sale again in the future,” the resolution stated.

Town Councilman Arnold Mordkin said that “the citizens of the community have mandated the town to preserve the rodeo by purchasing the rodeo grounds. We take that very seriously, and a definitive step has been taken.”

The town’s interest in the rodeo property goes far beyond the rodeo arena itself. In its resolution, the town listed 17 “necessary public facilities and activities that can be accommodated” on the property, including employee housing, parks, open space, road improvements, government facilities and a town welcome and information center.

If a deal cannot be reached with the Burwells, it’s possible that the town may exercise its option to pursue a condemnation proceeding on the property. Town officials are not eager to discuss that option, although Bill Burwell said Wednesday that Town Council members are discussing condemnation “with a great deal of frivolity.”

The town recently paid for an appraisal of the property that found that the value of the rodeo property was less than the $3.59 million approved by the voters to purchase it.

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