Snowmass history: Shangria-la Snowmass
The Snowmass Villager on Jan. 4, 1968 published the following interview with Rollie Herberg regarding the future of Snowmass:
‘Are you going to continue with being mainly interested in the construction phase of this project, or will you devote your time principally to the development of the character of Snowmass-at-Aspen?’ This was the question put to Rollie Herberg, vice president and general manager of Snowmass-at-Aspen, in an attempt to learn, for the benefit of the many who have been asking, just what this project is going to be like one, two or five years from now … “I’m going to be concerned with both the construction of this project as well as developing the cultural side of life out here,’ he replied. ‘Creating the whole environment.’ Question: To this point, second-guessing yourself, what would you wish you had done differently? ‘We would have applied more manpower to the project last November. Our miscalculation was that the workmen would stay on with us until Dec. 15. Actually, they began dropping off for their winter jobs in the middle of November… we had an adequate supply in the summer…The thing that amazes me is the quality of workmanship we got…The workmen were highly motivated. They had to work under some pretty difficult conditions, but they were excited over working on a project like this and they were proud of their contribution.’ Question: What about the cultural side of this community. Discuss generally how you see what you are creating here. ‘I see this as a Shangri-la type of situation…getting away from traffic, race riots, smog. Getting closer to nature. Nature makes people more thoughtful, introspective, reflective, perceptive. We are working to cause a number of things culturally to happen here, or to move here. The Aspen Film Conference is an example. And right now we are working on the Children’s Theatre of the American Theatre Institute. It was in Aspen last summer. There’s a good chance we may have in out here. This is a type of thing we are working on.’”
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The idea of a master agreement between the Aspen School District Board of Education and the Aspen Educational Association has been brewing for nearly two decades. Now, it’s coming to fruition.