Marolt: Time to start thinking of how to spend our $8 million | AspenTimes.com

Marolt: Time to start thinking of how to spend our $8 million

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic
Roger Marolt

I am tired of waiting for the project formerly known as Snowmass Base Village. All boats have run aground with the receding tide. The Boredom is not Building; it’s a fact of life. We are enduring the Dark Ages of Snowmass Village. The only Critical Mass we have achieved is a construction zone albatross hanging from our neck.

You see? I didn’t forget all the ridiculous marketing phrases that were thrown at us like Minute Rice at a shotgun wedding. It’s been more than a decade since the promoters of Base Village promised universal prosperity and to give us an exciting retinue of new restaurants so we could enjoy dinner out on the town without having to drive to The Town nine miles to the east.

I am reconciled to the fact that I’m never going to make a dime off Base Village, Il Poggio is basically the only game in town when it comes to local fine dinning but at least it’s excellent, and I know we can never go home again. But, there is $8 million on our table that we can still get our hands on because Related Cos., etc., etc., Inc. will be obligated to pay it to us, barring a miracle.

Don’t worry if you don’t remember what I am about to tell you because it’s completely forgivable for broken-promise-weary citizens to let details like this slip after a decade of political chaos, amended contracts and finagling with vested rights and the building code. Never mind if you have been led to believe that 8,500 square feet of worthless “donated” space in the incomplete Base Village for a mammoth bone museum is an incredible community benefit that none of us can possibly live without and is the generous fulfillment of Related’s obligation to give the citizens of this town something meaningful for approving their ridiculous plan in the first place and suffering through their lack of action in completing it for what is approaching the length of a passing generation.

We can forget about all this because Related Company, etc., etc., Inc. will owe the Town of Snowmass Village $8,000,000.00 at the end of 2017 if they have not completed and opened a brand new luxury hotel and 10,000-square-foot conference center in the mall by then. Don’t hold your breath in waiting to see if they can pull off the completion of this obligation. They don’t have the plan, the will, the money or the remotest intention to do so.

If our political leadership has even an ounce of moxie along with a tiny sense of responsibility to look out for our interests, the money is ours! The approval of the Amended Plan for Base Village is our leverage for ensuring the payment. It should not even be considered without this money in our bank to show that Related’s word is worth any more than the mud they’ve let sit in the land that once held promise.

Not to waste a bunch of words, but Related, and all of the shysters who came before them in the weak-linked chain of title for Base Village ownership, have not fulfilled a single meaningful promise they have made to ensure this gargantuan project would not stall and fester for as long as it has.

So, do you want to know what my next biggest fear is, besides all the others that have come to pass? It is not that Related will turn around and claim that the Westin is the fulfillment of their obligation to build a new hotel on the mall by 2017. No, my biggest fear is that Town Council will roll over and accept this malarkey.

For one thing, the Westin is only a remodel of an existing hotel. The intent of the original agreement made in September of 2007 in exchange for Related’s approval to build the Viceroy was for Related to build another brand new hotel from the ground up in order to expand the village’s hot bed base and replace our existing antiquated conference center. And, for another thing, Related had nothing to do with the Westin remodel. We can’t allow them to claim someone else’s project as fulfillment of their obligation.

The way I see it, Related owes us $8 million to be collected Dec. 31, 2017. I hope Town Council has the nerve to enforce this one last significant stipulation left among the numerous original agreements with Related that were treated as mere suggestions along the ever lengthening road to completion of the project that has become Snowmess Baseless Mirage.

Roger Marolt believes Town Council needs to make more progress and fewer deals. roger@maroltllp.com


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