During one of Snowmass Ski Area’s busiest weeks, there was still one place to find parking in the Base Village garage: a tucked-away corner with reserved spots for members of the Snowmass Mountain Club. The secured parking is just one benefit for those at the club’s platinum level, which comes with a price tag of a $137,500 deposit.
The club, which opened in November 2018, is Snowmass’ answer to the Aspen Mountain Club, a members-only enclave at the top of Aspen Mountain that debuted in 1999. Both offer varying amenities, and there is no reciprocity between the two.
“Our clientele is usually laid-back families or retirees looking to host their own families,” said Bree Lipman, sales director for the Snowmass Mountain Club.
The club inhabits 5,000 square feet of the Snowmass Base Village’s new Limelight Hotel, offering guests a private entrance, a lounge and bar area, fitness center, pool, hot tub and a room equipped with personal lockers for each family, boot dryers and glove warmers. Benefits include a ski concierge, ski valet and transfers, Aspen Skiing Co. discounts (for restaurants, retail and hotel properties) and guest passes.
In addition, members get priority seating at Sam’s, the reimagined restaurant at the top of Sam’s Knob. Already booked with reservations through the holidays, Sam’s is drawing crowds for its Italian food, including freshly made pasta and bread baked daily on site.
Of the 57 memberships sold so far, all but four have been at the platinum level, which includes the secured parking and two premier ski passes. After members pay the initial deposit fee, 90 percent of which is refundable upon selling their membership if they choose, they’re required to pay a $7,995 annual fee. Memberships at the gold level have a $75,000 deposit and a reduced annual fee, and it does not include parking. It’s $55,000 for the silver membership, which doesn’t include parking or the ski passes.
There are 228 memberships available in total, Lipman said. Each is a family membership, which includes two adults and any children under the age of 24.
During this busy holiday week, when the majority of current members are in town, the club felt full with a steady stream of skiers coming in and out. By the end of the day, when guests are invited for complimentary après-ski drinks and snacks, the lounge area was bustling and children were decorating gingerbread houses.
“We’ll do a lot of this programming for members,” Lipman said. “From a raclette holiday party to weekly first tracks, there is a lot to offer.”
Though the club is busiest in the winter, it is open year-round and will host members in the summer too, with events like guided hikes.
Rose Abello, the director of tourism for Snowmass Village, agreed that the social aspect was attractive to potential clients, and another valuable option for Snowmass visitors.
“This valley has demonstrated time and again that people appreciate community and convenience, and the mountain club offers that to the right group of people who are willing to pay for community and convenience,” she said.
The demand seems to be there. The Aspen Mountain Club has a waitlist for its membership, which is capped at 350. The initiation fee is $250,000, along with $7,400 in annual dues.
“The Snowmass Mountain Club is for anyone who sees a value in skiing in Snowmass,” Lipman said.
Many of the existing members have homes in Aspen, Snowmass and Woody Creek, she said, and a few are in Basalt or Carbondale. Additionally, buyers of the 11 private residences in the Limelight Hotel also received a membership as part of their purchase.