Letter: Town, ski company are on hook for aqua center | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Town, ski company are on hook for aqua center

In 2006 Aspen Skiing Co.’s attorney signed an Intergovernmental Agreement with the town of Snowmass Village obligating only Base Village residential owners to pay $47.5 million of bonds for 14 projects, including $3.5 million for a 30,000-square-foot aqua center. Skico bought Base Village for $11 million in 2003; sold it for a 10-fold profit at $169 million in 2007 without building the promised aqua center. Skico can quibble about what entity names were used, but it clearly made the decisions.

Skico, East-West and KSL bought Base Village for $56.5 million in 2016 (now advertised at $600 million) after Skico and East-West participated in the 2015 Base Village PUD amendment where Atty Dresser said the aqua center was swapped for 20 more condos for the developer and Building 6 plus $700,000 for Snowmass (but no bond relief for the Base Village residential owners).

When the aqua center’s $3.5 million is paid off in 2048, the residential owners will fund $9.3 million for the non-existent, 30,000-square-foot aqua center — Building 6 by another name.

Hayden/Capitol Peak remains the only 96-condo complex in Snowmass without a pool much less the promised aqua center. In the meantime, Skico/East-West added three pools for their new buildings in Phase 2 but no pool for Hayden/Capitol Peak owners.

ASC must deliver on its original promises — at a bare minimum, they should build a pool/deck area for Capitol Peak/Hayden when they build pools for their own Phase 2 properties — move the Tree House parking to the west and build it in the existing parking lot.

Town Council, staff and planning commission need to take a leadership role in holding the developers responsible for code compliance with 16A-5-310(8): “If the PUD is to be developed in phases, then each phase shall contain … and other public facilities or improvements that are necessary and desirable for residents of the project.”

The May 7 council meeting on Building 6 is exactly the time to make this requirement clear to the developers. Building 6 would not exist if it weren’t for the aqua center trade. Base Village would not exist without Phase 1 owners. Snowmass needs to keep Base Village owners whole and deliver a pool in Phase 2.

Council has been clear about “no new taxes.” Council needs to be just as clear that Base Village owners get “no new carrying costs” — otherwise Snowmass is again taxing owners without representation.

Bruce Smith

Snowmass and Florida