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Aspen Skiing Company Eyes New Employee Housing In Snowmass

Aspen Skiing Company Eyes New Employee Housing In Snowmass

Aspen Skiing Company (SkiCo) is looking to build about 30 employee housing units at its property on Divide Road in Snowmass Village, Vice President of Employee Housing and Childcare Heather Henry said during a Monday Snowmass Town Council meeting.

The project, though still in early stages, would be the latest SkiCo employee housing project since the Hub at Willits opened in 2021. She briefly discussed the housing project during the meeting and introduced it as part of SkiCo’s larger plan to renovate the Lynn Britt Cabin at the Snowmass Ski Area. 

Snowmass town code requires an employee housing mitigation plan for the expansion, and while the proposed 30-unit housing project is not tied to the Lynn Britt expansion, she said it would more than satisfy the town’s requirement.

“We want to be careful to not totally knit these two projects together, but our priority is to deliver our own beds as we meet our mitigation,” Henry said.

She gave few details during the meeting but said a pre-application was ready and more details would be presented at a pre-sketch meeting with the Town Council and the planning commission within the next month. 

But she said it would “be in the neighborhood of a 30-unit project” on SkiCo-owned property at the Divide, where it already has six employee housing units. The housing project was part of a vehicle maintenance facility planned unit development (PUD), which was broken into two phases, she said. 

According to the town code formula for employee mitigation, the proposed Lynn Britt expansion would generate about three employees, said SkiCo Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Chris Kiley. SkiCo provided a $500,000 letter of credit per employee — in total $1.6 million — to be available for the town if SkiCo can’t build the additional housing within three years of issuing a building permit. Under the same town code, 988 square feet of housing would be required, according to a SkiCo special review application letter. The Town Council approved the letter of credit during the Monday meeting. 

SkiCo declined to reveal a project timeline.

“Knowing that we don’t have that project ready to go yet, we’ve provided a letter of credit that would stick with the town for up to three years while we look to build our new employee housing project in the town and satisfy that,” Kiley said. 


Lynn Britt expansion

He also on Monday introduced plans to expand and renovate the Lynn Britt Cabin, a project that he hopes will be completed before the 2024-25 winter season. 

The proposal would make improvements on the existing back-of-house and kitchen preparation areas, provide additional restrooms, and create an outdoor concrete dining deck that would include a mobile bar and grill. The outdoor deck would have a semi-enclosed structure surrounded by windscreens that would have an umbrella that could be used and latched to the windscreens during inclement weather.

“We’re looking to create a deck experience that is more consistent and that requires less labor for setup,” he said. “Today … it’s on snow, so every night the chairs, the tables, the grill, the DJ area, get broken down and put off to the side. They maintain it with snowcats, and then they set it up again.”

Adding a concrete deck would allow more consistent use of the Lynn Britt patio in adverse weather, he added. 

The outdoor eating area would not be a sit-down dining experience like the inside of Lynn Britt. There would be food carts and a bar cart that users could order from and bring their food back to the first-come first-serve seating areas. 

SkiCo hopes to do construction on Lynn Britt during this summer to take advantage of the Coney Express project that is also currently under construction, he said. The Coney Express Lift will have a mid-station at the top of the Blue Grouse Trail just west of Lynn Britt where people will be able to load on skis and snowboards to ride to the upper part of the Coney Glade area. The lift will also begin at the Snowmass Mall, which would allow for foot traffic to the Lynn Britt Cabin, he said.

“While we’ve got this whole area torn up doing a ton of work this summer, we thought it really made sense to run utilities, pour the concrete, do all this extra work, and really be able to open it with a flourish next winter,” he said. 

Expanding Lynn Britt will also help provide additional food and beverage offerings while SkiCo prepares upcoming construction on the Ullrhof restaurant in Snowmass, Kiley said.

“We’ll be coming back in front of the town staff, the planning commission and council later this summer (or) early fall with our land-use application to replace our Ullrhof restaurant,” he said. “We’re envisioning that project is likely going to take two summers, which means we will be without one of our major on-mountain restaurants for a winter season. This, albeit small, is still a way for us to help with that.”

The Town Council approved the resolution for the Lynn Britt construction Monday night. 


By: Lucy Peterson I The Aspen Times I July 3, 2024

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