Aspen Science Center, Aspen Journalism enter Base Village Building 6 mix
As Snowmass Nexus makes its plea before Town Council as to how it could be a perfect fit for Building 6, the hopeful nonprofit continues to rally more partners to help co-program the community space.
Aspen Science Center and Aspen Journalism are the latest parties vying to collaborate inside the 8,701-square-foot building, Snowmass Nexus representative Paul Menter told Town Council at its most recent meeting March 19. Menter also introduced Snowmass Village resident Ashley Cole as interested in the project.
At the last meeting with the council, Snowmass Nexus — a partnership between GrassRoots TV and Colorado Audio Visual and Design — identified Mawa’s Kitchen and Aspen Film as other interested groups.
Snowmass Mayor Markey Butler at the March 19 meeting questioned Nexus’ ability to receive nonprofit status as well as how its proposed concept would benefit the community.
The town’s intent with the building, which developers expect will be complete in November, is to offer more community-oriented gathering spaces in Snowmass. Base Village developers agreed to construct and grant Building 6 to the town as part of the project’s original approvals.
Menter, a board member at GrassRoots TV, assured Butler of his confidence, based on his experience, that the proposal would qualify as a nonprofit.
Nexus’ business plan calls for a “community-based live event, broadcast and digital arts center … to uniquely combine presentation, performance and creative spaces, both inside and outside of the facility, with video recording, broadcast and live digital distribution capability.”
With subsidized rates for the public to use the facility, Menter said Snowmass Nexus would operate “very similarly” to the Carbondale Arts center or Aspen’s Red Brick Center for the Arts.
A few Town Council members articulated concern with the discrepancy between the building’s proposed nonprofit and for-profit purposes, as the profitable use is what will finance the space.
“How do you operate a profit and a nonprofit business with one checkbook?” Snowmass Town Councilman Tom Goode posed, referring to Nexus’ financial pro forma that called for “one checkbook.”
“It’s a black and white line between profit and nonprofit,” Goode cautioned.
Menter explained that, “It’s a nonprofit organization that has both nonprofit and for-profit suppliers.”
He added shortly after, “Nonprofits work with for-profit businesses all the time.”
As part of its proposal, Snowmass Nexus requests $700,000 from the town to help finance the building-tenant finishes and startup costs.
Menter reminded the council March 19 that this amount is less than the figures associated with Snowmass Discovery’s proposal.
Nexus would not request any ongoing operational subsidy from the town upon the building’s expected completion in November, according to the meeting memorandum.
With the mayor noting her reluctance, the four Town Council members present March 19 — councilman Bill Madsen was absent — motioned unanimously for town staff to work with Snowmass Nexus to draft an agreement with more detail about the lease terms and operation of Building 6.
Town spokesman Travis Elliot said after the meeting that staff will aim to complete that agreement to bring back before Town Council at its next meeting April 2.
Editor’s note: Because of an unclear introduction by a Snowmass Nexus representative to the Snowmass Town Council at a regular meeting March 19, this story has been updated to reflect that Ashley Cole, administrative director at the Snowmass Chapel, was at the meeting as an interested Snowmass Village resident but not representing the chapel’s interest.
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