Letter: Community needs Base Village to move forward | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Community needs Base Village to move forward

We respect The Aspen Times’ editorial opinion regarding Base Village on Feb. 24, but we disagree with its conclusion that the Snowmass Village community is best served by continued stagnation in Base Village. Related and Aspen Skiing Co. have both recently put forth proposals to advance the broader goal of completing Base Village, a goal that has been echoed unanimously by year-round and part-time residents alike during community meetings.

The application by Aspen Skiing Co. to develop a Limelight Hotel in Base Village has always been separate but linked to the Snowmass Acquisition Co.’s (Related) application to extend the deadline for completion of the current phase of Base Village (which includes the Limelight Hotel building site) from Nov. 3, 2014, to Nov. 3, 2020.

Since Related’s reacquisition of the project in late 2012 (after an extended foreclosure process), we have focused on meaningful steps to improve the vitality, safety, appearance, stability and functionality of Base Village, and we have been successful. These successes include the construction and activation of the Arrival Center to divert hospitality-bus and car traffic away from the Treehouse drop-off area, the replacement of a critical sanitary sewer main in Brush Creek Road and the associated road improvements, the introduction of three new restaurants to Base Village, the recapitalization and stabilization of the Base Village Metro District, and, most notably, the re-establishment of a solid real estate market in Snowmass Village with more than 60 Viceroy residences sold in this same time frame. Aspen Skiing Co.’s purchase and development of a hotel on Lot 2 is another positive step in this series of forward progress.

In order to invest the necessary capital to build a Limelight Hotel or any other future project in Base Village, both Aspen Skiing Co. and Related require stability and certainty in the entitlements. Together, these applications provide the catalyst for moving ahead in Base Village.

The responsibility for moving the process forward falls on both the developer and the town. We agree that the Snowmass Village Town Council must act in order to protect the best interests of the community. We believe the best interests of the community are in moving forward and completing Base Village in a timely fashion so that Snowmass gets the new public and private infrastructure it needs to remain competitive in national and international tourism. It’s now time for the Snowmass Village Town Council to vigorously support and facilitate the forward progress of Base Village.

Dwayne Romero

President, Related Colorado

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