Snowmass Club starts facility renovations with Black Saddle improvements |

Snowmass Club starts facility renovations with Black Saddle improvements

Construction materials are laid out outside the Black Saddle Grille in Snowmass on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)
Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times

Construction staff headed back to work at dozens of sites all over Snowmass Village this week after temporarily shutting down due to COVID-19, including the Snowmass Club’s Black Saddle Bar and Grille.

From new flooring and lighting to new and refurbished furniture, the private club’s public restaurant and hangout is set to have a fresh, modern look as early as mid-May.

“We felt like we could really enhance everybody’s enjoyment by upgrading it, bringing it up to a little more modern feel and look,” said Rick Sussman, general manager and chief operating officer of the Snowmass Club.

Although the Black Saddle improvements are strictly cosmetic, Sussman said they are the start of a larger, more in-depth initiative to renovate the Snowmass Club and its facilities.

Some of the preliminary renovation plans include updating the locker room and spa facilities, creating designated studio spaces for classes, expanding the pool and making it more family friendly by adding a slide and splash pad, and other athletic facilities improvements. However, Sussman said the club still has to go through a bid process for the planned renovations and nothing is set in stone yet.

Much of the planned improvement was vetted through Snowmass Club member focus groups and influenced by feedback on the desired facility changes, and Sussman said the club’s ownership team hopes to start making these changes a reality as early as this fall.

“The focus has been on modernizing and bringing things up to current standards,” Sussman said. “We want to lay things out and make improvements to our athletic and pool facilities so they function better. Many have been there since the beginning of the club, 40 years.”

Sussman went on to emphasize that the facility improvements, including renovation specifics, renderings and overall cost, are not solidified yet. He did say that the club’s ownership team plans to pay for everything in full, with no renovation costs placed on members.

When asked why the Snowmass Club decided to start its renovation project with improvements to the Black Saddle, Sussman said it was because they were the easiest to complete and because the restaurant is a benefit to the entire village community.

“It just worked out to be something we could get moving on fast,” Sussman said. “We also felt like that as part of the community the Black Saddle is an important piece for the town of Snowmass Village, so we wanted to get this done so everyone could enjoy it as soon as possible.”

Sussman doesn’t know how the rest of the project will be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, but said the club intends to move forward with its facility renovation plans so long as it is safe to do so.

“Once we have the final plans we’ll start to build new renderings and will roll out what’s going to happen,” Sussman said. “It’ll definitely be a lot of information with floor plans and timelines and all of those good things.”

The Snowmass Club also plans to open its golf course May 15 with a COVID-19 safety plan and requirements that align with and exceed Pitkin County public health standards, Sussman said.

The club also is starting up a take-out dinner menu, including wines, liquors and take and bake foods, from the Sage Restaurant and Bar seven days a week. The take-out and food service will start as evening only from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., but will transition to lunch and dinner out of the Black Saddle once the restaurant renovations are completed and the golf season starts.


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