Snowmass Club under contract for sale of ‘around $20 million,’ set to close mid-August

Erica Robbie
Snowmass Sun
The Snowmass Club sold to ABA Hospitality for $18.5 million on Dec. 6.
Snowmass Sun file

Scott Brown’s vision for the Snowmass Club includes developing upward of 50 employee-housing units, improving the club’s amenities and restoring some of its “private roots.”

Brown is the CEO of ABA Hospitality, a real estate investment and management firm that is under contract to purchase the approximately 200-acre Snowmass Club from the Toll Brothers.

The Naples, Florida- and San Francisco-based firm focuses mostly on “luxury high-rise condominiums,” Brown said from the company’s newest satellite office in Snowmass on July 16. He expects the sale, priced “around $20 million,” to close by mid-August. Negotiations started at the end of April, he said.

Brown moved to Snowmass Village from San Francisco with his wife and two children, ages 2 and 4, in September.

He attended Aspen Elementary School as a child before relocating to and growing up in Boulder.

“We decided we wanted to stay in the area, so I started meeting with locals and developers looking for projects that could tie us to the community, and the Snowmass Club was one of them,” Brown said. “It’s a beautiful property that has a lot of potential … everything just fell into place.”

First and foremost, Brown plans to immediately “refresh” the athletic club and pool facilities, with renovations like new carpeting. He said the initial “punch list” changes to the club would be minor and cause minimal, if any, closures to its facilities.

“We would like to improve the service offering (and) we want to improve the amenities of the club dramatically,” Brown said.

Down the pipeline “at least three years,” he anticipates a “redo of the entire club.”

Outside, Brown’s vision includes “a few development opportunities on the property by the clubhouse that we are considering for additional town homes.”

Also on the housing front, the recent Snowmass resident said his intent is to develop “substantially more” employee-housing units than what the town would require of the project.

Brown said he is still figuring out details, but offered that he is looking into developing “up to 50” employee housing units.

He estimated that the town of Snowmass will mandate somewhere around 11 employee housing units for the new development.

Given the valley-wide housing problem, Brown said it seems “kind of obvious” to build employee units, not only to house and retain club staffers, but also to help contribute to what he sees as a “community effort.”

“It’s important to us. Probably the most important,” he said. “Obviously we want to develop and make money but staffing is key.”

Among the “potential” Brown also sees in the Snowmass Club is “(bringing) the integrity of the club back to its private roots.”

A nod to the club’s days under the ownership of Aspen Skiing Co., which sold the property to the Toll Brothers in March 2013, Brown looked to the 18-hole “semi-private” golf course and the Sage Restaurant as areas that may operate on a more exclusive basis in the future.

When asked about any cost increases to members, Brown said, “In order to bring back the private club experience, new membership fees — but not dues — may have to increase.”

“But we have not figured that out yet,” he added.