According to Aspen Journalism & the Aspen Times, Aspen Skiing Company is considering building a second edition of its popular Limelight Hotel - recently named the best hotel in America according to Expedia rankings - on a vacant concrete slab adjacent to the Elk Camp Gondola in the Snowmass Village base area. Skico is hoping to buy back some of the real estate it sold to Related WestPac for $169 million in order to build a second Limelight with 105 rooms and 18 for-sale condos on an empty lot with permitting and plans for condo units that a recent town meeting attendant complained looks like "a Third-World country." Skico is hoping they'll be eligible for a streamlined approval process since they're not altering the density or scale of already-permitted buildings at the lot behind the gondola.
Skico is likely encouraged by Snowmass's recent revival and success, with the new Viceroy and renovated Westin and Wildwood hotels, previously the Silvertree and Wildwood (with awful reviews), now anchoring the high end of the accommodation market. Visitors, with some promotional nudgings, have responded in kind; this June's Food & Wine Festival saw Aspen's lodging numbers down but Snowmass' up, and with the Village hosting better and better restaurants, people are starting to take it seriously. Skico had been planning a second Little Nell at the Village, but plans for the uber-luxury hotel fell through during the recession. Skico may see an opportunity to provide more of the mid-range lodging (by Aspen standards) that the town is desperately clawing for at the moment.
However, some early buyers in the Village want Related to follow through on some of its earlier promises for developments at the Village before rushing through a new hotel like the Limelight. An aquatic center, which was promised early on, was missing from a Related presentation to the Part-Time Residents Advisory Board this July.
· Aspen Skiing Co. interested in building Base Village hotel, after all [Aspen Journalism]