Snowmass homeowners squeezed as Skico skates |

Snowmass homeowners squeezed as Skico skates

Base Village has the best access to skiing, hiking, biking, free village shuttles, free Aspen buses and downvalley transit. We live there in summer and winter.

Aspen Skiing Co. does a fabulous job on the mountain — what they don’t talk about is Skico’s Base Village has six entities assessing Base Village residential owners with nine inadequately disclosed taxes and fees.

Just two examples are:

1. Residential owners are paying $11.5 million of construction debt on the public parking and transit center while receiving none of the revenues and the developer-controlled tax district owns them.

2. Residential owners, assessed at three times the rate of commercial owners, pay 77% of the Base Village Master HOA budget for all snowmelt in Base Village for all plazas and walkways, all public rest rooms, skating rink, fire pits, etc.

In contrast, Skico’s Limelight hotel paid the town’s 1% real estate transfer tax but not the 1% real estate transfer fee to the Base Village Master HOA of about a half-million dollars and arranged to lower their annual assessment to the master HOA by over $100,000 a year. The Limelight condo owners and other residential owners did not receive these benefits.

The Limelight/Skico maneuvering is especially egregious because Skico, East West and KSL got $20 million to $40 million in additional value with the 20 condos that replaced the long-promised and never-built 30,000-square-foot aqua center as a result of the 2015 PUD amendment.

Residential owners are willing to pay a fair share, but we expect Skico, et al, to do the same.

Pat Keefer

Snowmass and Texas