Snowmass NeXus, Aspen Brew Co. look to occupy Base Village Building 6
December 5, 2017
The way Bob Sirkus sees Snowmass' predicament as to what to do with Building 6, the town can either roll the dice and lease the space or list the Base Village structure for sale.
"Unless we as a group are willing to take some risk, then we should put it on the market," the Town Councilman said at a meeting Dec. 4.
Town officials in late September sent letters to 30 to 40 individuals and organizations soliciting ideas as to what should occupy the building, which developers will deed to the town upon its expected completion in November. To date, a partnership between Grassroots TV and Colorado Audio Visual and Design, dubbed "Snowmass NeXus," is the town's lead tenant to assume the 8,701-square-foot community-use space, according to Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney.
Two similar groups with "a professional history together," town spokesman Travis Elliot said, Grassroots is a nonprofit organization while Colorado Audio Visual and Design is a for-profit business.
“I don’t want to be tied down to owning a building just because of zoning.” -Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler
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Under a separate nonprofit entity, NeXus proposes to finance, manage and program Building 6 in collaboration with other organizations, according to a memorandum from Kinney.
Their proposal is to "combine flexible programming space, virtual reality exhibits and other technology to create a community-based live event, broadcast and digitals art center," the memo reads.
NeXus is ironing out those details and will present a complete business plan to the town early next year, Kinney said.
Another group town staff hopes will join NeXus inside Building 6 is Aspen Brewing Co., which also submitted a letter of interest to Snowmass Village despite signing a lease last month on a new taproom location in Aspen.
The brand's Snowmass business model includes a taproom and restaurant with "healthy and locally sourced" fare, wine and cocktails, according to its proposal.
"Snowmass will be more full of people than ever before," their proposal read. "The brewery and restaurant will maintain a welcoming and casual community atmosphere and be a needed hub of interaction between tourists and locals."
Snowmass Town Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk said she believes, "It's a little isolating to just have a conversation with Aspen Brewing Co."
Shenk, who has voiced her desire to see child-friendly tenants occupy the space, questioned the familial nature of a brewery.
She also revisited the council's notion of finding a business that would open early to serve coffee and pastries and such, an idea aligned with the building's intent to "add vitality" to Base Village.
"I don't know if it's the best fit," Shenk said of Aspen Brewing Co.
Kinney said Aspen Brew Co. is aware that "one of our goals is to have a breakfast service" and is looking into the logistics and feasibility.
"So far in our discussions, they've been very open. They like the idea," Kinney said. "They want to make it happen."
Shenk suggested the town still "pursue some other conversations" with businesses, particularly those in Snowmass Village. Kinney reiterated the limitations of the kitchen in Building 6, which he said is expected to measure around 300-square-feet but could vary some. Shenk looked to Fuel Cafe on the Snowmass Mall as an example of a successful local breakfast joint operating in a small space.
While it seems the Town Council inched closer Dec. 4 to imaging the future of Building 6, the option to sell the space is still on the table.
Kinney said that if the town "(wants) to add market value to the building," they would need to rezone it.
This also would help determine the building's worth, which Kinney said is complicated to price with its current zoning.
"I don't want to be tied down to owning a building just because of zoning," Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler said.
Snowmass business owner and former Town Councilman Reed Lewis during public comment advised the town to sell Building 6.
"I just don't think we, as a town, are the right people to be picking and choosing and running free market," Lewis said.
At the council's last Building 6 meeting Nov. 6, former Snowmass Mayor Jeff Tippett told the town to "take the money and run."
The Snowmass Town Council will revisit discussion of Building 6 at a meeting Jan. 16.