Base Village property now in new hands
by Madeleine Osberger, Aspen Daily News Staff Writer
Aspen Skiing Co./East West/KSL close on long-stalled project for around $55 million
Seventeen years after Aspen Skiing Co. made its initial foray into developing a base area for Snowmass Village through an $11 million land purchase, the ski resort operator has returned to finish what it first started but then sold. Yesterday, SkiCo, along with East West Partners and KSL Capital, announced it had closed on the sale of the Base Village assets from Related Cos. The price, according to a project spokesman, was in the “mid- 50 millions.”
The purchase includes all of the remaining development parcels and commercial property in Base Village, including the Viceroy Hotel, the unsold Viceroy condo units and the Snowmass Hospitality property management company.
A Related-backed partnership, which bought Base Village from SkiCo and Intrawest in 2007, built about one-third of the total planned development before construction came to a halt in the onset of the Great Recession. Lenders wrested control from Related before the company reacquired the project and its approvals in 2012 for $89 million.
Construction is expected to commence in spring 2017 on the unfinished core of the project contiguous to the Elk Camp gondola and including but not limited to the Limelight Hotel and a plaza area. Work on another highly visible and unfinished part of the project — the faux front buildings along Wood Road known as Buildings 7 and 8 — is anticipated to start in late 2017, according to a statement.
“After over a year of hard work by all parties involved, we are thrilled to have closed on this acquisition. East West has been pursuing this project for many years so it is extremely exciting for this opportunity to finally come to fruition with the help of our partners at Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL Capital,” East West managing partner Craig Ferraro said.
According to Thursday’s statement, SkiCo will purchase and operate the Limelight and a Four Mountain Sports retail space from the joint venture once they are completed. East West has already said it would take the lead on the entire project’s construction which could reach 1.1 million square feet when completed
Related received final approval to restart construction in September, after 10 associated agreements with the town were settled. The next day, the pending sale to the new joint venture was announced.
“This is an exciting day for Aspen Skiing Co. and the entire Snowmass community and we are happy to be moving forward,” said Mike Kaplan, SkiCo president and CEO, in the published release.
“We have remained committed to Snowmass as one of the best ski areas in the world and we are thrilled to be working with East West and KSL to complete the Base Village and bring our guests a world-class experience on and off the mountain,” Kaplan continued.
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