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Diverse design and development team begin work on North America's largest ski village

It's pretty rare to be able to bring a hotel like the Limelight, an ice-skating rink, and all these amenities to a resort that's 50 years old
– Andy Gunion

Construction has begun on North America's largest ski village development: a vast new leisure community in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains.

Over 200 stakeholders gathered at the base village of the Snowmass Ski Area near Aspen, Colorado, on Tuesday (18 July) to celebrate the start of work on the new mountain resort development – a US$600m (€520m, £463m) collaboration between Colorado-based hospitality operators East West Partners (EWP), Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) and KSL Capital Partners.

The development will be anchored around the 100-room, 11-residence Limelight Hotel. This will feature an indoor/outdoor lounge and restaurant, a five-storey climbing wall open to the public, a fitness centre and hot tubs looking out at the mountain. The building has been designed by Oz Architecture, with Stonehill & Taylor working on the interiors. Two Limelight hotels have previously built by ASC, another in Aspen and one in Ketchum, Idaho.

A host of other facilities are also planned. Local studio Harry Teague Architects have designed a Snowmass Discovery Center that will explore the discovery of Ice Age fossils at the nearby Ziegler reservoir, while Denver designers StudioINSITE are creating a central public events plaza with fire pits, children’s pop-up fountains and an ice-skating rink in the winter that doubles as an events lawn in summer.

Several high-end residential buildings, a ski/snowboard and outfitters shop, a welcome centre and a 5,500sq ft (511sq m) medical clinic designed by 4240 Architecture and interior designers Styleworks will also be included.

In a statement, the developers said that a number of different architecture and interior design teams had been commissioned to “bring their own unique interpretation of mountain contemporary design to the project, resulting in an eclectic village feel with a common mountain modern architectural vernacular that features contemporary forms anchored in traditional alpine materials.”

“This whole approach and design philosophy is a significant departure from the more uniform traditional mountain resort village designs that have been prevalent in the past,” they added.

"I think this is a game-changer for the base village and for Snowmass,” said East West managing partner Andy Gunion. “It's pretty rare to be able to bring a hotel like the Limelight, an ice-skating rink, and all these amenities to a resort that's 50 years old. Opportunities like this are few and far between.”

Mike Kaplan, CEO of ASC, added: "We've spent the last decade upgrading the on-mountain experience here with tens of millions of dollars of improvements and now we are excited to bring the base of the mountain up to the next level. Snowmass will realise its full potential as one of the best year-round mountain resorts in North America.”

ASC has previously funded Snowmass’ Elk Camp gondola lifts, on-mountain restaurants, children's centre and base area amenities. In the near future, it plans to add an alpine coaster, canopy tour, challenge course, climbing wall and expanded hiking and biking trails.

The Snowmass Ski Area is located eight miles from downtown Aspen. It has 3,332 acres of multi-level terrain for skiers and snowboarders and the second largest vertical drop in the US.

Snowmass  architecture  design  Aspen  Colarado  skiing  regeneration 
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Construction has begun on North America's largest ski village development: a vast new leisure community in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. Over 200 stakeholders gathered at the base village of the Snowmass Ski Area near Aspen, Colorado, on Tuesday (18 July) to celebrate the start of work on the new mountain resort development – a US$600m (€520m, £463m) collaboration between Colorado-based hospitality operators East West Partners (EWP), Aspen Skiing
CLD,ARC,DES,DEV
An artist's conceptual rendering of the forthcoming development at Snowmass / Snowmass Base Village
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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