Support of mall baffling | AspenTimes.com

Support of mall baffling

(This letter was originally addressed to Snowmass Village Councilman Arnie Mordkin.)

Thank you for your response to our letter concerning the placement of the new Sam’s Knob Express lift. I think you misunderstand the thrust of our position.

We are not solely concerned with the number of times we have to get in/out of our skis to reach the top of mid-mountain. However, I would assume that most skiers would like to keep that number to a minimum.

Forcing people to go to the mall, when they don’t want to go there, to catch another lift up the mountain makes no sense to anyone other than you and the mall owners. When Base village is complete, by far the vast majority of residents, guests and day skiers will be located and will arrive at or near Base Village.

Base Village will become the center of retail activity, entertainment, food service and skier services. A single direct gondola to the Suzanne Flats area and a single direct lift to Burlingame Flats and Sam’s Knob, both out of the new Base Village, is a skier’s dream come true.

Obviously, the community and all of the other councilmen have seen the wisdom of this configuration, and that is why the Skico and Intrawest revised their initial plan. Other than you and the mall owners, there has been very vocal and unanimous support for this configuration.

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I understand and appreciate that as a mall retail tenant you are concerned about the future of your business and would like to find a way to force people to continue to use the mall as a portal to the village. The original placement of the mall on the hill was an ill-conceived idea from inception and has never really worked for the community.

It has taken all these years for the town, the Skico and Intrawest to correct this initial blunder, and they are about to do so in a creative and spectacular way that we can all be proud of; and, by the way, which will ensure the economic survival of this community well into the future.

Your continued allegiance to the mall owners is baffling, inasmuch as they have done nothing whatsoever to show the community that they have any interest or resources to redevelop the mall. Left to their own devices, they would leave things just as they are, and that is not in the best interest to the future economic viability of Snowmass Village.

As we and many others have repeatedly stated, the mall is not a convenient location to serve as a retail node in the reconfigured village. Because of this, our residents and guests will not respond well to being forced to go from Base Village to the mall when the center of all action is in Base Village.

The mall area should logically be redeveloped with additional residential and conference facilities. However, the current mall owners appear not to have the resources or the desire to accomplish this task.

Your continued support of their intransigence and lack of respect for the wishes of the Town Council and the community is baffling to all of us. These guys need to find a buyer with the imagination and resources to accomplish what obviously needs to be done.

Putting a Band-Aid on the current mall won’t work. No one other than you and the mall owners are standing up to support the mall as a retail node and they, after all these many months, are totally silent regarding any plans for change.

We have repeatedly stated that the Skico and Intrawest must give all of the mall retailers, including your store, the first opportunity to relocate to Base Village, and since we have not heard to the contrary we assume that they are amenable to this suggestion.

Why in the world would you or any of the other mall retailers want to remain on the mall once Base Village is up and running? As a secondary retail center the mall is doomed to failure.

All of the experts and consultants engaged in the planning process have indicated that the approximately 100,000 square feet of commercial space that can be accommodated in Base Village is sufficient to support all of the existing and the proposed new residential and visitor facilities.

It is now clear that the space currently allocated to retail facilities in the mall is not required for the future economic viability of Snowmass Village.

Mel D. Blumenthal

Enclave Homeowners Association

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