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Thanks to Snowmass, Crowns

Dear Editor:Congratulations to us all – thanks to the Snowmass Town Council. Those five gentlemen have, after years of scrutiny and squeezing the Aspen Skiing Co., come to the wise conclusion that Base Village must be built to save Snowmass from its downward spiral, revitalizing one of the country’s finest ski mountains to compete with the most modern of resorts.But this decision goes well beyond Snowmass. Having lived in this valley for nearly 30 years, I recall the days, while news director at KSPN, of perpetual confrontations with the Skico. D.R.C. Brown and his policies were “the enemy” to many locals in the ’70s. I also recall the days of 20th Century Fox, and Marvin Davis, who treated the ski company as a personal trophy. I traveled to ski areas all over the world during my days with Bob Beattie, working with ski area operators of all variety.Aspen/Snowmass, and the entire Roaring Fork Valley, is extremely fortunate to have passionate, dedicated owners today who have class and character, and who devote those attributes to making our ski facilities so great – and in the context of what is environmentally sensitive. They and their families are invested in the valley, active in so many of our important community organizations and institutions.At the same time, we all know this is a business, one of many in the Crown portfolio. And even a business about which one is so passionate must make economic sense. Jim Crown has expressed that for Snowmass to have a bright future economically, his family must invest in seeing it is competitive and compelling. They are taking an enormous financial risk in building a new village at Snowmass, in addition to adding many lifts and trails, and community amenities.Had the Snowmass Town Council pushed for too many concessions, and cut the project further, I feared the Crowns would not see the bright future here, and might have begun the process of packaging up the Aspen Skiing Co. for sale. That result would have put us all at great risk. So, thank you councilmen for finally seeing the light and ensuring a wonderful long-term future for our valley. And, thank you Crown family for your hopes and dreams about the future of our valley.Mike “Hunter” HundertSnowmass Village


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