Town services receive top marks in survey

A ring sculpture in front of the Snowmass Town Hall.
Anna Stonehouse/Snowmass Sun

Nearly 700 people took part in the biennial Snowmass community survey this year and gave overwhelmingly high marks to town services, according to the results report.

The report was presented to Town Council on Sept. 3by a senior project manager with the ETC Institute, a national corporation that helps local governments gather data from residents for community planning.

In late June, the 48-question survey was made available to anyone who directly receives or experiences Snowmass Village services, and the town sent out various newsletter and mailer reminders over the summer before the response window closed Aug. 1.

This was the fifth biennial community survey Snowmass town officials have put out, and the second survey they’ve worked on with the ETC Institute, said Travis Elliott, assistant town manager.

The budget for this year’s survey was $17,500, Elliott said.

Data showed 676 people took part in the 2019 community survey, well over the targeted participation goal, with 52% identifying as full-time residents and 32% as part-time. More than 60% of participants said they were not employed within Snowmass Village.

“I think it’s amazing that so many people took the survey and I think that it’s a real credit that they did,” Councilman Tom Goode said Sept. 3.

Visible as numerous pie charts and bar graphs, the results showed survey participants are generally “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with most town services, town safety and quality of life in Snowmass Village.

Most survey questions were repeats from past surveys and framed around housing, police and town government satisfaction, transportation, community development and public works.

The responses to these repeat questions mostly aligned with percentages of years past, and ranked at least 10 percentage points above average satisfaction rates across the U.S., small communities and mountain regions, the survey findings report highlighted.

“Community leaders should continue to be proud of the exceptional level of service they are providing in the town of Snowmass Village,” the report stated. “Despite the relatively minor increases in satisfaction when comparing the 2019 and 2017 survey results, the town of Snowmass Village continues to deliver exceptional services to residents, employees and tourists.”

But although the questions and responses to this year’s survey align with past trends, there were a few new questions the town added about housing and transportation.

Survey takers who also were business owners were asked about their willingness to assist with a series of suggested affordable housing provisions, such as constructing or leasing units for employees, and what types of affordable housing they felt ranked most important to build.

Nearly 50% of business owners who took the survey said they were “willing” or “very willing” to lease housing for employees, and 41% gave the same answers for constructing units for employees.

There was no clear type of affordable housing that stood out as more important to build than others, as every type from deed-restricted townhomes to apartment rentals were flagged nearly equally as “extremely important,” “very important,” “important” or “less important/not important.”

The types of affordable housing with the highest percentage of marked importance were deed restricted townhomes/duplexes and multi-family/apartment rental units, though by a narrow margin.

New this year, survey participants were asked to rank their satisfaction with a set of intersections while driving, biking and walking. The intersections included those identified by Town Council for future improvement, including the Brush Creek and Owl Creek roads intersection.

Respondents were most satisfied with the Brush Creek and Wood roads intersection, along with the Brush Creek Road and Town Park Station intersection for all forms of travel.

They were least satisfied with the Brush Creek and Owl Creek roads intersection, and the Wood Road and Carriage Way intersection.

After the survey results were presented Sept. 3, there was some discussion among town officials, who noted that the survey data will be included into next year’s budget process and that the town should be proud of the positive responses.

“We have a lot of good news to share with the community,” said Travis Elliott, assistant town manager.

For the full 2019 Snowmass community survey results, visit


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