Voters approve base village for Snowmass Mountain |

Voters approve base village for Snowmass Mountain

Steve Benson

SNOWMASS – Snowmass Village will be home to a new Intrawest Base Village after residents voted to approve the controversial development Thursday. The village passed with about 55 percent of the 1,155 votes cast in favor of Base Village. When complete, the development will encompass more than 1 million square feet, primarily at the base of Fanny Hill. “This is huge, this gives us a tremendous fighting chance to be even more competitive as a destination resort,” David Perry, the senior vice president of the Aspen Skiing Co., said Thursday night. Intrawest and the Skico are partners on the deal. “This is a great victory for the community of Snowmass, and in our opinion it provides tremendous hope for the future,” Perry said. But for the other 45 percent of Snowmass Villagers, the future looks bleak. “I think the community lost, but it will take some people some time to figure that out,” said Jeff Tippett, a former Snowmass Village mayor and the chairman of the Base Village opposition group, Citizens for Responsible Growth. After the Town Council unanimously approved Base Village in October, Citizens for Responsible Growth spearheaded the referendum that sparked Thursday’s vote. Tippett, who has attended just about every meeting regarding Base Village in the past four years, maintains the development is full of problems and they’ll start to emerge once construction begins this spring. Tippett said the problem with Base Village starts with Intrawest, which is a major resort development company. “A lot of people suffer when Intrawest takes over,” he said. “What Intrawest does best is earn a profit for their investors and they don’t care about the community.” Intrawest’s village in Whistler, British Columbia, has helped turn the area into one of the most popular destination resorts in North America. And while its village at Copper Mountain has been deemed a failure by some, it has helped boost skier visits dramatically.Thursday’s election drew 1,155 of Snowmass Village’s 1,772 registered voters, which was an even greater percentage than for November’s presidential election, which drew 1,088 local voters. Vail, Colorado

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