History: Construction begins on Snowmass Center

The Snowmass Center at near completion sometime in 1979.
Chris Cassatt/Aspen Historical Society |

An article in The Aspen Times on April 27, 1978, reported the beginnings of the Snowmass Center. “Snowmass Village took one step closer to becoming a self-sufficient town last week when construction began on the Snowmass Center, a 46,000 foot commercial building which will include Snowmass’ own grocery store. The Snowmass Center will be built on Fritz Benedict’s land behind the Conoco Service Station and the old barn, which is a Snowmass landmark. Before the development of Snowmass as a ski resort, the land was the Jonnie Hoaglund Ranch. The grocery store will occupy 10,000 to 12,000 square feet of the building and other businesses which are considering moving into the shopping center include the Bank of Snowmass, the West Village Post Office, a pharmacy and drug store, and an arcade with specialty shops. The upper level of the building will have space for professional offices, complete with roof decks.”

The article then goes on to quote architect Fritz Benedict discussing his plans. “‘I started planning a commercial center for Snowmass about six years ago,’ said Benedict. ‘I thought it was time that it became a community of its own. Then I dropped my plans because I thought Snowmass Resort was going to include a commercial center in its West Village expansion … and I didn’t want to compete.’”

The master plan for the 88-acre parcel also included plans for both resort condominiums and employee housing adjacent to the Center.


See more