Part-time residents look to ‘spread our wings’ in collaborations with Snowmass Village
Semiannual Part-Time Residents Advisory Board meeting slated for next Tuesday
Snowmass Village’s part-timers are a substantial cohort in the town: The Part-Time Residents Advisory Board counts seven members in its ranks, and assistant town manager Travis Elliott said there are nearly 600 recipients of a newsletter oriented toward folks who make Snowmass home for only a portion of the year.
But engaging more of those residents in community matters isn’t always easy, board member Bob Fike told Town Council at an Aug. 9 work session.
“I think one of the realities early on was it’s a very large group of very talented people who come here to vacation,” Fike said. “But to get them involved with something they might be involved with at home when they want to vacation, it’s kind of difficult at times. So while we have a large number (of part-timers), the activity factor is not very high, and we’ve been working on that.”
The advisory board is looking to bolster that engagement through events like Tuesday’s annual summer meeting and a mixer at The Collective in Base Village. Free snacks and a cash bar will create a more casual environment for full-time and part-time residents to mingle before and after they tune in to a “State of the Village” presentation by Councilwoman Alyssa Shenk.
Councilmen Bob Sirkus and Tom Fridstein also plan to attend; Councilman Tom Goode and Mayor Bill Madsen will be out of town, they said during the work session.
“It’s going to be short on the speaking and long on the eating and drinking,” board member Charlie Hess said; the goal is to steer away from a long series of presentations to engage more members of the community.
(There are, however, some sectors in which part-time residents are particularly involved — namely, surveys and questionnaires, Hess pointed out. Elliott, the assistant town manager, said after the meeting that the biannual community survey issued in 2019 and a recent questionnaire about marijuana retailers in the town both garnered a notably strong response from part-time residents.)
The Aug. 9 work session also was part of that long-term goal to facilitate connections between the town government and the advisory board while boosting visibility for the group, said board member Joyce Shenk.
“We all pay taxes, and some of us are here more than others, but we really care, and I would think that most part-timers hopefully care about the community. … We can’t vote, but we care a lot about what happens,” Shenk said.
Though part-time residents may not be able to appear at any given council meeting, Mayor Bill Madsen encouraged the cohort to submit thoughts and feedback via email. (People can reach all five council members at once by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.)
“They’re engaged and involved. Obviously they’re committed to the village, and love it here as we do, and I think it’s really important that we hear different perspectives as well,” Madsen said.
Those cares include affordable housing, improvements to infrastructure and who bears the responsibility for ongoing operating expenses in condo developments in the town, board member Michael Mayer said. Board members frequently doled out kudos to council and town staff for how the municipal government operates and evaluates growth in the village, but Mayer also expressed concerns that echo recent council discussions about maintaining the town’s community and culture.
“We don’t want Snowmass Village to be some sort of artificial Disneyland,” Mayer said. “We want it to be a place where you work, where you start a family, where you raise kids, where you can retire.”
Shenk hopes that initiatives like the board’s successful initiative to support local restaurants during the pandemic could be a launch point for more involvement in the future, too; the board is open to council recommendations on that front, she said.
“I know I, as well as everybody on the committee, I think, would like to do more things like that, that kind of brings PTRAB up a little higher so people notice us, and maybe go, ‘What’s PTRAB?’” Shenk said. “And, you know, we can kind of spread our wings a little farther.”
To RSVP for the Tuesday summer meeting and resident mixer, visit bit.ly/PTRAB-mixer. Those who register by Monday will receive a free drink ticket.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the attribution of a quote. Because of a reporter error, the initial quote was misattributed; the speaker was Bob Fike.
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It’s no easy task to maintain all of Snowmass Village’s trails each summer season, and it certainly couldn’t be done without the seven dedicated staff members of the parks and trails department.