Summer plans for the town of Snowmass Village’s new community center The Collective will focus on outdoor activities and entertainment while construction on a new restaurant and game center is set to be complete for next ski season.
The public lawn outside Aspen Skiing Co.’s Limelight hotel will host daily games and outdoor movies, plus free popcorn and shaved ice served out of an Airstream travel trailer, according to plans presented to the town council Monday night.
The town owns the building, which is designated for public use, but is leasing it back to developers East West Partners to operate.
“They’ve been great partners, they have stepped up,” Town Manager Clint Kinney told the council Monday night, about working with East West Partners. “They have a business need and we have a community need to make this work and through these joint efforts we’ve done some great work.”
An anticipated new restaurant from Aspen chef Martin Oswald and a game room meant for all ages are under construction and scheduled to be open in time for winter 2019-’20.
As the interior is built out, East West has partnered with Snowmass Tourism to program the exterior space throughout the summer. What was the ice rink last winter is now known as “The Rink” for the summer. Astroturf has taken the place of the ice, and the lawn will play host to family movie nights and an artisan and produce market this summer.
Plans are also in the works to host a pre-concert parties on Thursdays, when the resort hosts free music on Fanny Hill. A press release from East West Partners said that more pop-up music and dining will be announced in the coming months. In the release, Sara Hafferty, East West Partners’ curator for the events and activities, cited the strong winter presence that the rink had. More than 5,000 visitors attended an event at The Collective over the winter.
“We are enthusiastic about our first summer, and look forward to building on the amazing momentum we’ve had so far,” Hafferty said.
For the food and beverage operations to open next winter, East West has created a sublease with Oswald, whose local resume includes Pyramid Bistro.
Oswald’s operation includes a restaurant called mix6 that allows diners to mix and match their dish from a handful of fresh ingredients, plus a bar area called Moxie that will include table service. Oswald said he wants the restaurant to feel inviting to families and that he has a record of creating inviting spaces for the budget-conscious.
“My thinking with this whole project is that we can really draw from the midvalley families,” Oswald said. “They probably want a location they can sit down and just relax and not feel that they need to buy something right away.”
The restaurant and bar will both be located upstairs, with open seating both indoors and out. The remainder of the ground level will be a flexible community space that can be reserved for public and private events and rearranged to have tables, auditorium seating or an open dance floor.
The bottom, subterranean level has been earmarked for the Snowmass Discovery Center. Fundraising efforts for the science museum showcasing local archaeological finds is at least two years out, and East West will take over programming until that time. Beginning in the winter, the space will be operated as a game lounge, similar to other areas on well known ski resorts.
One feature will play homage to the future of the discovery center: a ball pit shaped like Ziegler Reservoir, where remains of a mastodon, and thousands of other ice-age fossils, were discovered in 2010 and 2011.
“It’s similar to those seen around the county in places that are not Chuck E. Cheese,” said Charlie Singer with East West Partners.
Singer showed the council conceptual renderings of the interior of The Collective, including inspiration from local Colorado artists who will be commissioned to decorate the space.
“The building should feel cool and funky,” Singer said. “Everything will be artistically creative.”