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SNOWMASS, CO-The Aspen Skiing Co., controlled by the Crown family of Chicago, hired Vancouver-based Intrawest Corp. to develop a long-awaited base village in the Snowmass Ski Area near Aspen. Intrawest will design and build a new base village on 12 long-coveted land at the base of the ski area.

The price of the project wasn’t released, but experts estimate it could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Preliminary plans call for 600 to 700 condominium units, restaurants, retail shops and pedestrian walkways.

Intrawest currently is in the midst of a $450 million to $500 million development of the Copper Mountain Resort that it owns in Colorado. Intrawest also has a partnership agreement with Vail Resorts to develop housing at Keystone Resort. Vail Resorts owns Keystone. Both Copper Mountain and Keystone are in Summit County, while Snowmass and Aspen are in Pitkin County.

Intrawest beat out East West Partners, which is funded by Crescent Real Estate, and Houston-based Hines Resort for the job. Hines developed a $200-million project at Aspen Highlands, which also is owned by the Aspen Skiing Co.

The town of Snowmass, about 15 miles from Aspen, has about 2,800 beds, but most of the lodging opportunities are in older buildings.

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