Snowmass Town Council recap: Potential for CBD sponsorships at JAS; summer events, housing updates |

Snowmass Town Council recap: Potential for CBD sponsorships at JAS; summer events, housing updates

Sting performs on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass Labor Day Experience in Snowmass Village. (Photo by Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times)

At the first February regular meeting of Town Council, discussion centered on the potential for the town to allow sponsorships with CBD companies at the JAS Labor Day Experience this summer, along with staff presentations on the town’s summer tourism schedule and master housing plan. Here’s the recap:

Council leaves door “halfway open” for CBD sponsors at JAS

Town Council expressed some consensus on potentially allowing sponsorships with CBD companies at the JAS Labor Day Experience this year at its Feb. 3 meeting.

Jim Horowitz, president and CEO of Jazz Aspen Snowmass, gave a short presentation to council at the meeting, stating that the nonprofit has had multiple CBD companies reach out about sponsorship opportunities at Labor Day Experience over the past few years.

However, Horowitz said none of these opportunities were pursued because of language in the town’s contract with Jazz Aspen Snowmass for the Labor Day event, which states scrutiny will be focused on sponsors, exhibitors, advertisers and vendors of cannabis related products.

“We really haven’t kicked the tires on it that much because it’s been such a no-fly zone that ‘if’ was the issue,” Horowitz said. “Now we’d like to revisit ‘if’ and if ‘if’ is OK, we can go from there. … Everything is negotiable.”

Three of the four council members present Feb. 3 expressed general consensus with allowing the CBD company sponsorships, so long as they could review the final sponsors and how their businesses would be on display at the festival beforehand.

However, Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk said she was not comfortable with allowing the sponsorships without knowing more specifics on what the CBD companies would have on display at the festival, and with the fact in mind that it is a family-friendly event.

“For me, it has to be a well-executed plan,” Shenk said. “I do think there’s a difference between marijuana products and the CBD products, but I just think there’s a lot of people in this town that still are not thrilled about marijuana and given that I think we really need to do it right.”

Town Council ultimately voted 3-1 to consider CBD sponsorships for the JAS Labor Day Experience, giving Jazz Aspen Snowmass some direction as it moves forward with its preparations for the event.

“I’m very supportive of it happening, CBD products are available in every drug store,” Mayor Markey Butler said. “The door is about half open.”

Tourism, housing updates

Town Council listened to update presentations on the events planned in the village this summer and the status of the town’s master housing plan.

Rose Abello, director of Snowmass Tourism, gave council members a run down of what the summer events schedule looks like so far.

Because this is a leap year, Abello said many of the town’s staple events will be a week later than usual, including the Snowmass Balloon Festival and Snowmass Wine Festival.

Other than that, much of the same summer events will return to the village in 2020: the free Thursday night concert series, Snowmass Cidermass, Septemberfest and more.

She said a few changes include the addition of a trail run and 5K race to the Audi Power of Four mountain biking race weekend, along with not hosting Big Mountain Enduro and a Tough Mudder or Spartan racing event.

After Abello briefed council on what’s coming to the village this summer, Betsy Crum, director of housing, talked with council members about the status of the town’s master housing plan.

One of the town’s “near-term strategies” established through the 2018 Town Comprehensive Plan is to “update housing regulations, actively identify opportunities and partners to address senior housing needs and incentivize the creation of an additional 200 units,” according to town documents.

In response to this strategy, Crum said the housing department issued a Request for Proposals in late 2019 for help from professional designers, architects and land-use planners to help the town develop a “Conceptual Master Housing Plan” for developing or “tucking in” roughly 185 affordable housing units into the existing village neighborhoods.

Crum said a local team of Connect One Design, JV Architects and JVA Consulting Engineers was approved by town officials will help develop this plan. The team anticipates a six-month schedule from kickoff, which should take place in early February, to the plan’s development, according to town documents.

The team plans to look at town-owned sites for affordable housing development first, Crum explained, and will continually update Town Council and the public on the master housing plan status as it becomes more solidified.

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