5.14.2020(25of31).jpg

The town of Snowmass is looking to buy the Snowmass Inn to add to its employee housing inventory.

 

The Snowmass Village town government is looking to buy the Snowmass Inn, and the slopeside, 35,675-square-foot site on which it sits, to add to its employee housing.

The current asking price for the property and 39-unit structure is $6 million, according to town documents.

“We think it’s a good opportunity, we’ve offered [the owner] a contract, and we’re hoping to be able to proceed officially at the council meeting on Monday,” Snowmass Town Manager Clint Kinney said Friday evening.

The owner of the parcel is listed as CA Loan I, an LLC registered to an Aspen attorney’s office, according to Pitkin County assessor records. The LLC purchased the Snowmass Inn as well as the Snowmass Mountain Chalet one month ago for a combined $14 million. The April 17 transaction between CA Loan I LLC and the seller — two LLCs controlled by The Related Companies — consisted of the 37,747-square-foot chalet and the 16,410-square-foot inn.

Challenge Aspen CEO Jeff Hauser said in a prepared statement on April 27 that the buyer of both properties is “an advocate for and volunteer with” the nonprofit and has indicated that the Snowmass Mountain Chalet could become its long-term home.

While the municipality has eyed the Snowmass Inn as a possible addition to its housing inventory for several years, town officials and the council most recently met in an executive session on May 4 to review the “real estate opportunity,” Kinney said.

As with its neighboring jurisdictions, providing more affordable, workforce housing options tops the town government’s and council’s priorities. Specifically, the town’s stated goal is to build and/or acquire an additional 200 units, Kinney reiterated.

A memo from Kinney and Snowmass housing director Betsy Crum to the town council states: “We believe that now will be the town’s last chance to acquire the property, preserving it both as workforce housing for the existing residents and securing it for potential future redevelopment.”

Asked why the timing is the town’s “last chance,” Kinney said Friday, “We just think this is a great opportunity that we wouldn’t expect to come up again.”

“Although specific plans and details are still being developed, we propose that the town finance the purchase and moderate rehabilitation of the property after a due diligence is completed … The financing could be through a combination of loan/mortgage and use of housing reserves/funds that are currently available,” the memo states.

The memo also notes plans to likely renovate the lodge, which was originally built in 1967 (in conjunction with the opening of Snowmass Ski Area) and fully renovated in 1985.

Contrary to its name, the Snowmass Inn has not functioned as an inn in recent years, instead operating as free-market rental housing. The building is fully occupied; rent for each of the 39 rooms is $1,500 per month, which includes utilities and weekly housekeeping, according to the memo.

“Based on the limited information we have to date we have estimated that the property can support a 20-year mortgage of $6 million at current interest rates and with existing rental revenues,” the memo reads. “We are assuming an acquisition price of $6 million and a renovation budget of approximately $1 million as the town’s equity contribution from housing reserves.”

The Snowmass Town Council meeting will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday and can be viewed at tosv.com.

Erica Robbie is the editor-in-chief of Local Magazine and Local Weekly as well as the arts & culture editor for the Aspen Daily News. She can be reached at erica@aspendailynews.com or on Twitter @ericarobbie.