Marolt: Imagine a slopeside locker with your name on it
Last week in Cluster Phobic: I told you what I think the town ought to do with all the old bones it bull-dozed out of Ziegler Reservoir, assuming we can get them back from the real museum of Natural History in Denver. We should glue them back together into the carcasses that make them whole again and set them up all over town in different places and print maps showing visitors where they can find them. No local could argue that it wouldn’t be inspiring to see something around here being picked out of the mud and put back together as a shell of its former self.
Aside from the symbolic emotional lift, the economic gist is to give this part of our prehistoric history to folks in doses they can take without risk of going all catatonic on us and to get visitors to circulate around The Village while they are here. It just might be enticing enough to eat dinner beneath the tusk of a mastodon to skip a trip into Aspen instead. Some might even find it as interesting as a local rodeo, a five-minute fireworks display on Chinese New Year, or a 1980s almost-famous soft-rock band coming out of retirement to do one last show on Fanny Hill for free.
In leaving the notion of an old bones museum as being completely out of sync with portraying Snowmass Village as anything but a musty, old, attic of a ski resort for the mushrooming demographic of archaeologists, paleontologists and Jurassic Park groupies, I left you with the cliff hanger of wondering what then, if not an indoor model of a dig site, could we possibly use the space given to us under obligation by Related Amalgamated Whatever, LLC (a.k.a. the would-be developers of Base Village, if they had any money, ideas or will to finish it) for.
Well, dear readers, the answer is so obvious that I dare not claim it as my own since I am certain that every last Village Person has thought of it, if not outright while sipping coffee on Saturday mornings at the verge of outrage that it hasn’t happened already or in the midst of a recurring dream during the R.E.M. states of sleep.
The space given to our community to be used as a bona fide community benefit by the current owners and potential developers of Base Village should be a ski locker room for locals. That’s right, we need to turn this throw-away piece of commercial space into something we will remember and be thankful for the rest of our lives.
Every man, woman and child who demonstrates that they are currently a full-time citizen of Snowmass Village should have a locker in the community’s space at Base Village. Each locker should be large enough for two pairs of skis, a pair of boots, a shelf for a helmet, goggles and gloves, and enough hooks to hang a couple jackets and snow pants on. This is only to determine the size of each locker. There would be nothing to preclude anyone from putting a pair of snowshoes, cross country skis, a set of golf clubs, some concert clothes, or even boxes of old tax returns in there.
The locals’ locker room wouldn’t have to be anything fancy, just heated, clean and convenient. It would be nice if we could put in a few benches and chairs to give people a place to loiter a bit. Almost everyone agrees that we don’t have enough places to get together anymore; this could be one.
With a cash endowment set up by the developer and possibly a few tax dollars wisely spent, we could make it pretty nice, if we wanted. How about some showers, sinks and toilets? Maybe a big screen television? A refrigerator? A ping-pong table? With a little dreaming we could make this as comfortable as some of the garages in The Crossings.
Think of the novelty: a community benefit that the community actually benefits from! We could finally stop years of pretending that nothing is something.
The only argument I can imagine against this idea will be the museum types asking how a local’s locker room in Base Village can possibly replace all the revenues that would be generated by a museum. The answer is purely speculation, but we may have to wait and ask the owners of the coffee shop to the right and the sports bar to the left of the locker room after they are all up and running.
Roger Marolt would rather make soup from ancient bones than go see them in a museum. firstname.lastname@example.org
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A six mile cross-country ski race brought 168 skiers to the trails between Snowmass and Buttermilk in 1971.