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08-26-03 Town Council Minutes SNOWMASS VILLAGE TOWN COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING MINUTES AUGUST 26, 2003 T. Michael Manchester called to order the Special Meeting of the Snowmass Village Town Council on Wednesday, August 26, 2003 at 6:50 p.m. Item No. 1: ROLL CALL COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT: T. Michael Manchester, Douglas Mercatoris, Richard Virtue, Arnold Mordkin and Bill Boineau. COUNCIL MEMBERS ABSENT: No Council Members were Absent. STAFF PRESENT: Mike Segrest, Town Manager; Carey Shanks, Economic Resources Director; Carolyn Poissant, Senior Planner; Chris Conrad, Planning Director; Rhonda Coxon, Deputy Town Clerk; David Peckler, Transportation Director; Susan Hamley, Marketing Director; Jennifer Houston, Marketing Assistant; Hunt Walker, Public Works Director; Joe Coffey, Housing Manager, Jim Wahlstrom, Senior Planner PUBLIC PRESENT: Please refer to attached sign in sheet. Community Forum Introduction On August 26, 2003 at 6:50 p.m. the second of a series of community meetings took place to further discuss, in groups, the future of the Town of Snowmass Village. The purpose of the meeting was to receive feedback based on several questions asked including concerns that the community may have had concerning the quality of life, economic future and what it would take to create a “successful resort community. 08-26-03tcsm Page 2 of 8 Community Issues, Concerns and Suggestions The Yellow Group: Arnold Mordkin What, if any, concerns do you have about our quality of life and economic  future?  3 years of downward cycle (Marketing?)  Why isn’t property tax compensating?  Need to identify the “Root Cause” of economic trend (Shrinking bed base?)  Concerned that ski mountain facilities not upgraded to remain competitive (Funnel Lift, on mountain restaurants)  Presentation contrasted 3 best years with last 3 years- ski seasons are cyclical- misleading. Use 20 yr. Trends  Town is “old” (dated)- No new facilities or experiences  We need a “shot in the arm”- but how big?  (Public) Invest in amenities, assist air service and aggressive marketing (Steamboat) What words or phrases describe being a “successful” resort/ community?   Culture  Think beyondour boundary  Survived past cycle- but our infrastructure, amenities and lodging facilities where newer. It was easier to rebound then than now  Successful means guests find a valuable reason for coming hereWhat do - they have to do?  Shouldn’t have deteriorating on mountain and other mid-day dining facilities  Problem indicator should not be that we have declining sales tax. Must consider community… increasing sales tax thru development not full solution  Need to work on non-skiing months and activities- culture  Enhanced transportation linkages  Problem not a lack of rooms… improve amenities and marketing What are the most important strategies, projects or efforts to support being a  “successful” resort community?  400 room conference friendly hotel- 4-star  Big venue for world class events (cultural)  Children’s center  Shorter stays and improved access (Transportation linkages)  Look at property tax issue- bonding for needed facilities  Look to preserve/support non-profits 08-26-03tcsm Page 3 of 8  Lighting ordinance  Noise ordinance  Affordable housing  Environmentally friendly transportation  Trail linkages-usable year- round (including better construction management to keep trails open during construction of developments) The Green Group: T. Michael Manchester  Is there a mall problem? If so, what is the root?  Fairness in numbers  Is it possible to get back to 1997/98 and beyond?  Amenities/ role within destination resorts  How do you create atmosphere  Understanding Aspen  Tax breaks  Location for amenities  Why are we abandoning the comprehensive plan established a few years ago?  Survey of registered voters? What about second homeowners  Skiing is not the destination- it’s an activity  Conventions- product/size  Natural amenities- clean air/water  What are we doing to create activities in SMV? Base Village  Rental rates should be 10% of gross sales  Not competitive as a destination resort: Canada, cruise ships, Florida  1.) Eat 2.) Drink 3.) Shop… are what people come to do  Vitality and vibrancy  Quantity, quality and diversity of lodging  Activities in the entire resort area and time of year The Blue Group: Richard Virtue What, if any, concerns do you have about our quality of life and economic  future?  Don’t understand competitive services- What are benchmarks?  Why not attractive as competition- in and out state?  Contributing factors? 9-11, marketing, perception, business down all around the country  Poll guests not returning- why not?  Can’t remain as we are when competitive landscape is changing- need product (BV) or real estate value, amenities diminish  Need Town and developer compromise  Conference facility not keeping up with the times- deficiency 08-26-03tcsm Page 4 of 8 What words or phrases describe being a “successful” community?   Sustainable economic vitality- quality of life, solution on isolating problems  Something needs to be done or all will suffer-short term- expand in bad times  Conference and trade show business down  Benchmark who’s coming, i.e. med assoc.  Is quality of life money? What is it?  Traffic, density? Or quiet neighborhood?  Growth of valley-wide traffic- concern with or without Base Village  Economic factors- sales and property taxes  Health of resort contributes to quality of life- within limits, equal portions  Will Base Village lead to economic revival (Example: Highlands) scale  Symbiotic relationship-commercial core: beds  Need communication among merchants-what’s needed for conference business  Group competition beyond ski resorts- other options  Created outflow of employee revenue and excludes large number of employees  Need to capture revenue that is leaving the Village  Build community of full diversity- (in addition to hot beds) adequate employee housing- current shortfall- balancing act  If we build it, demand will increase What words or phrases describe being a “successful” resort?   Development not total answer-look to ourselves to help fix  How do you force properties to keep up? Market resolves- competitive deficiencies  Lodging declined before 9-11- losing market share ‘98  Price vs. value-aging product-use independent rating system  Build Base Village on Comp Plan, conditions- react to market and fix current issues, Intrawest “fear factor”  Need amenities for healthy future- young people’s future  Need night life again  Was there an economic model for Comp Plan? No  Comp Plan allows for flexibility  Down zone? Intrawest would walk- mutual respect, reasonable variance  Marching orders from community fuddled?  Why in this situation today?- Base Village may not be the answer  Contributing factors Skico marketing, SRA disarray, Town money may help/marketing, properties haven’t kept up- not up to capacity  Need to be more than snow to survive The White Group: Douglas Mercatoris What, if any, concerns do you have about our quality of life and economic  future? 08-26-03tcsm Page 5 of 8  Spiritual growth- fostering within the community  Future development- address list of concerns/ how effects  Traffic congestion- quality of life  Future development cannot solve all problems  Too narrow in our focus of issues  What solutions do we have other than development?  TC giving away too much- developers must pay their own way  Wage base- living wage  Economic future- Snowmass at Aspen branding consideration of existing community What words or phrases describe being a “successful” community?   Active- 4 seasons  Diversity  Friendly  Family  Healthy Environment  Economically viable  Resident opportunities  Peaceful  Content  Community participation  Inclusive  Encourage occupied residents  Non-skier activities- all ages and physical fitness  Community picnic  Community potluck  Community pool/tennis court  Infrastructure to accommodate community What words or phrases describe being a “successful” resort?   Child and family safety  Competitive  Second homeowner  Year-round resort  Attract diverse market  Right size  Healthy environment  Employee base-resident  Vibrant night-life  Easy ski access  Transportation/parking- good  United computer system  Balance between community and resort 08-26-03tcsm Page 6 of 8  Easy air access  50% of the business would come in the summer  Good snow  Unique events- theatre and movies  Arts- cultural and educational programs  Improved mountain facilities  Successful mountain operator  Reinvest on mountain infrastructure What are the most important strategies, projects or efforts to support being a  “successful” resort community?  Fundamental amenities and diversity  Improvement of current lodging, commercial, amenities, diversity and infrastructure  Strategies and incentives to improve  Branding and marketing  Town Center- strategy to “get it together”  Know our strengths and weaknesses  Raw water storage  Hassel factor of getting into the Village (parking)  Traffic management- parking enhancement  Incentives local spending Why are we where we are today?   Decline is due to: Marketing- what have we done? o Marketing and special events- tax 2.5%  Getting here- Not easy to get here o Air/ driving- very difficult  Master plan for airport improvement for take-offs only/  landing Lack of reinvesting in lodging- quality of lodging product  Economic factors- down  New areas- Need facelift and new product  Higher level of sporting/ activities and events (family and  affordable lodging) Diversity and vitality  Hal Clifford-down hill slide  Are we spending money wisely?  Opportunity during other 3 seasons- more year-round- multi-  season resort Perception of value- community to reinvest-summer  activities/ family Reduction of bed base-need for Hot Beds- more lodging  Sales tax analysis by month  08-26-03tcsm Page 7 of 8 Compare to similar resorts-apples to apples  SVRA/ marketing- group sales, multi-season marketing  Conference Center- oldest in resort towns  No game plan  Contributors- Bad snow years, 9/11, recession, war  The Red Group: Bill Boineau What, if any, concerns do you have about our quality of life and economic  future?  Over- react to economic condition  Environmental concern- construction over 5-10 years  Water, electric, air and infrastructure  Traffic congestion- light pollution  Economic Future- being competitive  Marketing resources to compete against other resorts  Economic viability- over build and the impact on property value. Need for commercial areas questionable. Two locations Base Village and Rodeo  Bed base is old, not in line with pricing  Parking is not user friendly- number lots built for core properties- single residences must driveTransit as an alternative? -  Justification for variances from the code?  Different from other resorts. Height, density upgrades  Small town feel What words or phrases describe being a “successful” community?   Happy faces  Want to return- guests experience  All members of the community interact  Arts  Town Meetings  Wonderful place to raise family  Growth that enhances the quality of life  Quality product not just increase  Aesthetically pleasing  Quality product for cost- upgrade older units  Improve financial success of seasons  Height in character  Livable What words or phrases describe being a “successful” resort?   Get people to want to come back  Quality of product  Customer service  Well trained employees and good attitude  Resort kept up-to-date upgraded 08-26-03tcsm Page 8 of 8  Good marketing  Balance resort and community investment/ decisions  Convenience and value  Mountain great- Base is tired  Successful commercial core to support Town  Not crowded traffic- good information  Meet vacation expectations  Price to accommodate diverse market What are the most important strategies, projects or efforts to support being a  “successful” resort community?  Marketing  Improve how you get here- better airport access  Improve current properties- owners to make upgrades  Give incentives to improve properties- don’t tax construction materials  Occupancy is below 40%- Improve product or boost existing occupancy  Enhance community character- redevelop or new, bigger is better?  Self- sufficient  Customers survey to know the facts  Family incentive  Be more competitive  Balance community and resort Each group presented their lists and summarized what they had discussed which included the information above. It was noted that the next Community Forum would take place on September 18, 2003 at 6:30 p.m. Item 3: ADJOURNMENT There being no further business, Council Member Mordkin made a motion to adjourn the Special Meeting, seconded by Boineau. The motion was approved by a vote of 5 in favor 0 opposed. The Meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m. This set of Minutes was approved at the October 7, 2003 Regular Town Council Meeting. SUBMITTED BY: _______________________________ Rhonda B. Coxon, Deputy Town Clerk