Westin presents details of renovation plans in Snowmass | AspenTimes.com

Westin presents details of renovation plans in Snowmass

Jill BeathardThe Aspen TimesAspen, CO, Colorado

SNOWMASS VILLAGE – North Face and Patagonia are two new businesses coming to the Snowmass Mall, said Westin Snowmass general manager John Curnow at the annual summer meeting of the Part-Time Residents Advisory Board on Friday. From the other end of Fanny Hill, president of Related Colorado Dwayne Romero gave homeowners an update on Base Village but didn’t give any new details on plans for the property. The Part-Time Residents Advisory Board serves to communicate information between part-time residents of Snowmass Village and the Town Council. Its annual summer meeting serves to update second-home owners on changes in the Village. The Westin Snowmass Resort and Wildwood Snowmass, formerly the Silvertree Hotel and Wildwood Lodge, were purchased in June 2011, and renovations on the properties began in April. The renovation plans address mostly the interior of the properties, but they also include upgrading the eight retail spaces in the Westin and possibly adding an ice rink and miniature golf course.The retail spaces have not been guaranteed to previous tenants. At least four of the current businesses in those spaces, including Cool Dog Sunglasses and Snowmass Bakery & Caf, were told last spring that their leases would not be renewed. Curnow told a homeowner that he couldn’t speak to what businesses would be filling those spaces because David Wasserman, principal of the new ownership group, would be responsible for approving leases. Curnow did say that North Face and Patagonia will open locations in the property and that all the spaces would be upgraded. The Westin has applied to amend the original zoning for the property to also allow for an ice rink where the clock tower is now. The ice rink would be converted to a miniature golf course in the summer. The amenities give visitors more reasons to spend time in Snowmass, Curnow said. They would be open to the public. “We’re trying to create energy in the mall,” he told the homeowners present. That application will be reviewed at the planning commission’s meeting on Wednesday. Curnow also outlined other details of the renovation, which include relocating the former Brothers Grille to what was the Cabaret space and opening up the lobby so it has a better view of the ski slopes. Work on the conference center was completed early so that groups booked for the summer could still meet there, even though they won’t be able to stay in the hotel rooms. The Westin Snowmass Resort and Wildwood Snowmass are scheduled to open this November, in time for the coming ski season. From the bottom of Fanny Hill, Dwayne Romero, president of Related Colorado, didn’t give any new information about the future of Base Village at the meeting. Related announced in April that it had entered a deal to acquire all the Base Village assets, but the terms of the agreement require the company not to disclose any details until closing. Romero did say at the meeting that the closing is expected “later this fall.” “It’s my personal hope that we’re able to beat that timeline,” Romero said. “All parties are of the same mind in that respect.”Romero said since foreclosing on Base Village two years ago, Related has focused on maintaining its existing assets, which include much of the mall and Snowmass Center.”We’ve been trying to get back to business and economics 101,” he said. “For better or for worse, we haven’t been trying to blow out people.”The company’s approach to developing Base Village will also rely on basic business practices, Romero said. “Supply and demand, a market-driven approach … those are the key words,” Romero said. One homeowner asked if any changes would be made to the Snowmass Center in the near future. Romero replied that certain improvements would be made to maintain the property, but the “sticks and bricks” of Base Village would be a priority. “There is a sequence I think that’s appropriate,” Romero said. Board chairman Mel Blumenthal said he was happy to see Related back at the helm, and that not only did Base Village need to be reworked but also the mall and Snowmass Center. “For me the most exciting thing is to have Dwayne leading that team. He’s going to be the future of getting this done,” Blumenthal said. “It’s not going to be the same plan that was approved a long time ago. … All of us (and) the full-time residents have to be a part of that process.”jbeathard@snowmasssun.com

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