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Roger Marolt: Who’s the leader of the club made for you and (not) me?

Snowmass Clubbers aren’t happy, but the locals already jumped ship

Roger Marolt
Cluster Phobic
Roger Marolt for the Snowmass Sun
Kelsey Brunner/Snowmass Sun

Don’t you love it that members of the Snowmass Club have launched a letter-writing campaign in the local newspapers? You know the plan: Incite a like-minded crowd and bombard the letters section with screeds exposing some objectionable issue that fires everyone up and eventually subjects the instigators of said bad deeds to so much public shame and humiliation that they completely come around to meeting all of your demands. It’s a familiar tactic that works all the time. Yeah, right.

Apparently things aren’t so great at the club these days. If you believe in letter writers, the food stinks and it’s overpriced. The choices for restaurants are nil. The lap pool is falling apart and is too hot for serious training. If you complain too loudly, they’ll write you a citation. They cut the hours of gym and are requiring reservations to swim. To top it off, they are raising dues! Talk about terribly exclusive!

But, lest anyone begins believing club members are all crybabies, some rogue members launched their own “I’ll teach you to crap in your own nest” counter-letter-writing attack with its cheerleading members swearing that the club has never been operated better. And by the way, the food is delicious!



As for me, I will say that the grass has never looked browner on the other side of the split rail fence. No, I’m serious. The fairways have looked super dry from my view passing by through the roundabout. I don’t know if they are conserving to save the planet or the warranty went out on the water pump, but it doesn’t look like a first-class operation either way. Not that I’m trying to get into the middle of this 19th hole spat.

The thing is, who cares? There is no arguing the entertainment value, but is there a single local who’s going to need a laxative to get over this? I personally think whatever sores happen at the Black Saddle should stay at the Black Saddle. It is best we keep our noses on our own faces while the clubbers blacken one another’s eyes. They are airing their dirty laundry, but the neighbors aren’t interested in what kind of underpants management is wearing, if any at all.


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In some ways it was always like this. In others, it wasn’t. My wife and I joined the club immediately upon moving here in 1992. The gym was where we stayed fit. The tennis courts were where we recreated. The pool was where we socialized, gossiped and watched people. The restaurant was where we ate because we had to spend our required food minimum at the proverbial place with the best view and worst food in town. Sounds like the same old, same old today.

But 25 years ago, the Snowmass Club was THE community gathering place. The food was still terrible and everything under the tennis bubble was overpriced. But the club made up for that with an annual Easter egg hunt for the kids chaperoned by the fire department, a pumpkin-carving event on Halloween and a huge community Christmas party every December. We traded BS at the bar every Friday afternoon.

Back then, locals had a stake in the club. Letters to the editor in The Sun about it would have been widely read. The club was a community jewel — perhaps not a particularly beautiful one, all cozy next to the wastewater treatment plant like it is, but it would have caused some angst had it gone down the drain.

Things have changed. After the community supported the club through its messy reconstructive facelift in the early ’90s and was rewarded with a stiff dues hike, a lot of locals left. When our beautiful municipal rec center was built a short time later, more members left, including me. It wasn’t a sad parting between the club and the community. Newbie management made it clear they were not sad to see us go, and we weren’t sad to oblige. It was a divorce made in a helluva business plan.

Today, it’s not that the community is unsympathetic with things like lousy service, ridiculous pricing or lack of management concern over the customer ever being right. We’ve been there, in your very footsteps. It’s just that the community has nothing invested at the Snowmass Club anymore. There is literally no reason locals care what happens there. The best I can come up with is, “Thanks for the diversion.” It turns out squabbling is pretty darn funny to watch.

Roger Marolt throws his weights around at the Snowmass Rec Center — or will again once the COVID coast is completely clear, at least. Email him at roger@maroltllp.com.


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