Snowmass Base Village’s summer debut rolls out with ‘something for everyone’

Base Village in Snowmass is coming into its own now that it has one ski season under its belt and is about to launch summer programming for the first time in its brief history.

With stops and starts and multiple ownership changes, the development known as Base Village at the bottom of Snowmass Ski Area is nearly complete. And it’s turning out to be a game-changer for the resort, which is what developers and elected officials had hoped for.

“We wanted to create a place where people want to hang out, where things are happening,” said John Calhoun, director of sales and marketing for East West Partners. “Snowmass deserves that energy because it was quiet for so long.”

The Limelight’s climbing wall, lounge and game area accentuate the array of activities being offered to guests and locals in Base Village this summer.

“We want to continue to ride the wave of that success we had in the winter,” said Sara Halferty, who works for developers East West Partners and is in charge of programming at Base Village. “We are trying to be approachable and be the place to hang out.”

With that in mind, Halferty and her team are bringing something for everyone to the base this summer.

The ice rink will be transformed into a events salon of sorts and dubbed “Summer at the Rink” where events will be held every weekend.

Building off of the programming of The Collective, which was home to a winter market featuring local artists, Summer at the Rink will host an “Après Artisan Market” from 4 to 8 p.m. each Friday.

Saturday night will be “Movies under the Stars” when Base Village partners with Aspen Film Festival to bring a family film series that kicks off June 29. People are invited to picnic on the lawn before the film and enjoy free popcorn.

Halferty said the series will end in August with an adventure mountain biking film series and then a screening presented by Telluride Mountainfilm Festival.

During the week, the rink will be transformed into an activities lawn with family fun games, pop-up kids’ fountains and shaved ice.

“We really want people to see Snowmass as a place to do something different every day that’s affordable and family friendly,” Halferty said.

Rotating lawn games will be available seven days a week with slip-and-slide human bowling, corn hole, giant Jenga, Connect Four, hula hoops, pogo sticks, sack racing and more.

Summer at the Rink kicks off the last week in June with the opening of the Elk Camp Gondola and The Lost Forest.

A lineup of family-friendly activities and events also is taking shape for the summer.

On Monday afternoons a slack-line clinic and demonstrations will be held.

On Thursday afternoon, join the Fanny Hill concert pre-party on the rink, including family games, drink specials and more.

In the midst of all of that, expect pop-up festivals, dining, art and music events.

Halferty said Mawa McQueen, proprietor of the Crepe Shack at Base Village, is planning a crawfish boil and a harvest dinner sometime this summer.

Also in the works is a pop-up festival, Taste of Snowmass, where restaurants from all over the state will come to Base Village to serve up their specialties.

“Our vision for this one is the first ever ‘Taste of Colorado’ in Snowmass,” Halferty said.

Halferty was in charge of programming for The Collective community building during its debut this past winter. Local artists, speakers, a winter market with locally made crafts and musicians occupied the building.

It’s closed for the summer so construction can get done on a new restaurant and bar, which is planned to be open for the winter.

Operated by local veteran restaurateur Martin Oswald, the new restaurant, mix6, and the bar, Moxi, will feature an expansive outdoor patio with seating and warming fire pits, offering a spot to apres in the sun and enjoy the views of the rink, the Base Village scene and the mountain.

mix6 gets its name from the food concept envisioned by Oswald. The restaurant will let diners be their own chefs by selecting up to six ingredients, including vegetables, proteins and homemade sauces that have been specially curated and prepared in small batches. The ingredients will be ever changing for what is available in season.

mix6 will be an integral part of The Collective when this building fully opens. The restaurant will be designed to support The Collective’s mixed use of events and activities, including live music, film, art and educational speakers.

“We looked at everything from fine dining to more casual concepts and interviewed restaurateurs as far away as New York City,” said Andy Gunion, managing partner for East West Partners. “Ultimately, it was chef Oswald who presented an innovative concept that we felt was the most natural fit with this venue’s vibe and purpose as a community hub.”

The basement of The Collective is being designed as a game lounge with ping-pong and pool tables, as well as a community hangout area.

Calhoun, the director of sales and marketing for East West, said Base Village’s newfound vitality and mojo is enticing people to buy the condominiums and penthouses that rise up from the plaza, offering breathtaking and expansive views of the mountain.

One Snowmass West, which will be completed in September, has 11 homes, five of which were under contract almost immediately after they went on the market this past ski season.

The three condos in the Lumin building have been bought, and construction on Snowmass One East will begin later this year.

Calhoun said buyers range from first-time visitors to current homeowners who own elsewhere in the village. He added that the feedback he’s been getting from people about the base area is that they “are stunned.”

“It’s such a departure” from what they are used to or what they expected, he said.

Bill Boineau, former mayor of Snowmass Village who has been part of the community vision and approval process for the base for over two decades, said its success is a double-edged sword for him.

“I’m not jumping up and down for joy,” he said of the growth. “There needs to be a resort and community balance, but there’s a reason to come here now.”

csackariason@aspentimes.com