After an eight-year pause, construction has finally resumed on one of the most important pieces of our four-mountain future. It’s easy to forget that a little more than a year ago, the fate of Base Village was hanging in the balance. Then-developer Related Colorado danced awkwardly with the town, and East West Partners momentarily stepped out of the ring. Fast-forward to April 2017, and the promise of a vibrant and accessible downtown Snowmass is again being chiseled into the landscape at the base of Fanny Hill.
It’s both fitting and reassuring that East West re-entered the picture locked arm in arm with Aspen Skiing Company. Together, they will be better able to manage and integrate ski operations as they bring the heart of Base Village to life in time for the 2018 ski season.
The Limelight Hotel and Residences will rise at the east end of the Village, showcasing a five-story, glass-encased climbing wall, with the possibility of the wall being open-air in the summer. The family-focused property will boast 99 guest rooms, 11 two- and three-bedroom luxury residences, shops, restaurants, and an exclusive Mountain Club offering.
Although still in the conceptual phase, the “plein air” climbing wall is a key piece of an overall ambitious plan. It would redefine the entire idea of a Colorado hotel, drawing guests and locals into an indoor-outdoor rec room for shopping, dining, climbing, or just lounging around with a hoppy Colorado brew.
Just west of the Limelight, a sprawling lawn will form the epicenter of the new downtown, serving as a concert venue in the summer and a skating rink in winter. Residences, shops, restaurants, a kid-friendly fountain, and live music will circle the lawn, creating a panoply of amenities to embrace skiers, climbers, mountain bikers and zip-liners as they embark on authentic Rocky Mountain experiences.
Framing the south corner of the rink, Building Four will rise three stories and promises to set a new standard of luxury living in Snowmass. Micro-retail, skate rentals, and parking for the Zamboni will occupy the ground level. On the second and third floors, three penthouse residences with dramatic floor plans will deliver expansive Village and ski mountain views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Enlightened architecture inside and out will be bathed in exquisite custom materials, adding texture and warmth.
To the west and standing above the current parking structure, Buildings Seven and Eight will complete the entrance to Base Village with sweeping contemporary architecture reminiscent of storied alpine lodges. These buildings will house 41 residences and a smattering of retail and restaurants
The juxtaposition of the climbing wall, ice rink, and the these new luxury residences could tempt buyers jockeying for downtown Aspen condominiums and even penthouses, and may completely transform Snowmass’ condo landscape in the process.
Look for real estate junkies to seize this opportunity to meet the growing demand for extraordinary properties by redeveloping existing condos and homes to new levels — with proximity and access to the Village becoming a key amenity, driving demand and price.
Culture is created by threading the needle of history with passion and vision. East West is doing just that by cutting a true Colorado path, ensuring that Base Village will finally become the downtown destination that was envisioned more than a decade ago.