Skico offers initial plan for hotel in Base Village
December 18, 2013
Representatives of Aspen Skiing Co. presented a preliminary plan for a hotel in Base Village during a joint meeting between the Snowmass Village Town Council and the Planning Commission on Dec. 16.
The Town Council in October waived the requirement of a sketch plan, usually the first step in a major amendment to a planned-unit development, for the application. The plan was presented jointly on Dec. 16 so that the elected officials could suggest certain items for the Planning Commission to focus on.
The plan Skico presented Monday largely resembled the one shown to the officials in October. Skico is applying to change the planned-unit development for Lot 2 in Base Village to convert Building 5, approved for a condominium building, into a 102-room Limelight Hotel, similar to the one it owns in Aspen, and eliminate three smaller buildings on the parcel to leave space for an events plaza. Skico plans to purchase the lot from Related Cos.
Skico also is proposing to combine the commercial spaces in Building 4 and open a Four Mountain Sports location there. That will drop the total number of commercial spaces on the lot from six to one.
The number of employees generated by the project will be less than originally approved, said Don Schuster, Skico vice president of hospitality development. Seven employees will be housed in units inside the Limelight. Schuster calculated that 15,593 square feet of employee housing would remain to be built, which he said the company would like to use housing credits to satisfy.
"We're probably the only developer at this point that really can make this hotel work on a sustainable basis moving forward," Schuster said.
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He also told the council that Skico would like to reintroduce talks for starting construction on the Fanny Hill Townhomes, approved for land that the company retained when it sold the majority of its Base Village property in 2007.
Councilwoman Markey Butler asked that the Planning Commission consider the decrease of restaurants and the increase of ski services in the new plan.
"One of the things that we're seeing is (food and beverage) right now is having a tough time making it because the lodging's not built out," Schuster said. "One hundred two hotel rooms without kitchens and higher occupancy will help the (food and beverage) facilities there that exist."
"I can't argue with that," Butler said.
Another concern for Butler was the lack of a new space for the Snowmass Clinic in the plans.
The council will vote on a resolution giving the Planning Commission directions for review on Jan. 6. Skico hopes to begin construction this summer and open the hotel by the 2015-16 ski season.
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