Honorable Mention: Base Village returns to Related; Silvertree, Wildwood get facelifts

Aspen Daily News Staff Report
Snowmass Village officials and residents in September got what they wanted: a new owner to prod Base Village out of stagnation.

Related Cos. was developing the project aimed at transforming Snowmass Village into a new Whistler Blackcomb-esque ski and summer resort when its lender group foreclosed on the project in 2010. Related last fall bought Base Village back for $90 million, and Dwayne Romero, the head of Related’s Colorado subsidiary, has so far pushed patience when discussing what’s ahead.

 Chris Council/Aspen Daily News
An aerial view of Base Village in Snowmass. Related last fall bought Base Village back for $90 million from a consortium of European banks that initially foreclosed on the project.

With so many varying factors about post-recession resort development, moving slowly on the future of the project and its incomplete buildings that litter the base of the Snowmass Ski Area is entirely justified, Romero said in October.

In another major development for the village, Wasserman Real Estate Capital and Starwood Capital Group bought the Silvertree and Wildwood hotels and the town’s conference center for $42 million in June. The owners tapped Westin to run the Silvertree, and remodeled that hotel into the Westin Snowmass Resort and also revamped the Wildwood.

All of the activity is perhaps best summed up by Romero: “Does it solve all the ills of Base Village and the larger community problem of our economic recovery? Of course not,” he said last fall. “But does it help elevate a little bit of confidence? Sure.”