(This letter was originally addressed to the Snowmass community, town council and Related Colorado.)
Knowing your market is Business 101, yes, but it’s also Community 581.
Community is a term used 581 times in Snowmass Village’s Comprehensive Plan, which is 117 pages. For those of you who haven’t stopped yet for caffeine at our local market or one of our local coffee shops, that equates to community appearing about five times per page.
Snowmass Village is a community — a resort community. We do not ask others to simply “be our guests.” We welcome others into our community, be it for a day, a season, or a lifetime.
Businesses, too, are welcomed into our community. Those that understand our community — our market, in business-speak — become pillars supporting and supported by our community. Those that do not understand our community leave concrete slabs, not foundations, and wood facades, not infrastructure.
Village Market is an integral part of our community: a pillar that has long supported and been supported by our community. Now, they are being forced off the physical foundation from which they have served our community for 35 years by those who do not know our market, despite having tried to succeed in it for years.
We know that when Related first listens to our community, it is capable of thawing the icy relationship that has evolved over its time in our village. One need only look up from the slabs and facades to the Snowmass Village Ice Age Discovery Center, where Related quickly helped put a floor under, and a roof over, Snowy’s replica.
But, Related too often fails to first listen to our community.
Related’s failure to understand our market has cost our community time, resources, jobs, revenue and opportunities. As Related returns to our town to ask for more, we must let them and our town officials know what we as a community want and will support. Although Related did not ask us about our market, let’s keep talking, so that Related can listen if it so chooses.
This is not just another market loss. This is another loss for our community.
Our community knows our market, and we know that our community deserves better. We have the opportunity and the obligation to support and sustain our community as Related comes back to ask us for more.
Snowmass Village and Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minn.