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Intrawest and Aspen Skiing Win Approval for $400 million
 Development at the Snowmass Village Ski Resort
By Jason Blevins, The Denver Post
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Oct. 21, 2004--The town council in Snowmass Village on Wednesday unanimously approved the final plan for a $400 million village anchoring the ski area in the resort community.

A group of citizens in the town, population 1,822, said Wednesday it would launch a campaign for a special townwide referendum to overturn the decision. The project survived one vote earlier this year.

The largest redevelopment plan in the town's history ranks as the smallest village that Canadian resort developer Intrawest Corp. has proposed. Intrawest joined Aspen Skiing Co., which owns and operates four ski areas in the Roaring Fork Valley, in the development of the proposed village. Intrawest operates 10 ski resorts in North America.

The Snowmass Village council Wednesday approved 64,000 square feet of commercial space and 635 new residential units on what is now a pair of parking lots on 15 acres at the base of the ski area. Intrawest and Aspen Skiing whittled the project down from 683 units and 140,000 square feet of commercial space when local residents criticized the size of the proposed village.

"We made a lot of changes," Intrawest executive David Kleinkopf said. "We've been really responsive." For some residents, the size of the village is still too big. And voters should have a chance to decide on the village, said Jack Hatfield, a Snowmass Village resident and Pitkin County commissioner.

Hatfield is part of a citizens group that is planning to gather signatures to put the village on a special ballot.

"We need to do this for the sake of the community," said Hatfield, noting that he was opposed to the village as a citizen and not as a county commissioner. "This is a special-interest project based on economic assumptions that are not guaranteed. They have forced this action."

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