Snowmass Village is a 3,000 acre ski resort and active residential community near Aspen, Colorado.
Chaffin/Light acquired 3,000 acres approved for development in Pitkin County. Later the newly incorporated Town of Snowmass Village annexed the property. At the time of the acquisition, Snowmass Village was an 11 -year old ski resort known as “Snowmass at Aspen” with critical infrastructure (roads, water, and sewer), important amenities including skiing and golf, three small hotels, ski-in/ski/out condominiums, and the resort-oriented retail shops in the Snowmass Mall. The Snowmass Resort Association provided marketing for the area. Residents were essentially living in a suburb of Aspen with its schools, shopping, and churches.
With a mission to develop both a livable community and a year-round resort, Jim Chaffin and Jim Light worked with the leaders of the Town on a new 1979 Master Plan, designed and built innovative recreation facilities and products, and helped enhance Snowmass’ brand image with a variety of special events and unique experiences. They expanded the existing Snowmass Real Estate Company and rebranded it to Chaffin Light Real Estate, which merged in 2013 and became Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty, where the families of Jim Chaffin and Jim Light remain co-owners. They embraced and implemented an innovative affordable housing initiative with a commitment to build one new affordable housing unit for every four free-market units. In total, Chaffin/Light built more than 150 for- sale or rental affordable housing units at Creekside, Fairway Three and Villas North.
Contributions to community livability
The Chaffin/Light commitment to community livability included the Snowmass Club’s bar and restaurant— designed as the community gathering place and “watering hole”— and a fitness/ athletic facility with a reasonably priced membership for locals. To increase the summer appeal, they retained old friends Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay to redesign the 18-hole golf course and built new high quality Har-Tru tennis courts. The design of the Club also established a new level of quality for the resort lodging and dining. Special events included support of a new balloon festival, continuation of the rodeo, and one-of- a kind cabins on the mountain for cross country skiing in Gracie’s Cabin and sleigh ride dinners to the Divide Cabin.
The Chaffin/Light land donations reflected the commitment to improve both the community and the resort:
· Anderson Ranch Art Center
· Snowmass Chapel
· Snowmass Conference Center
· Community baseball and play fields
· Rodeo grounds
· Biking and hiking trails
· Open space
The personal energies of Jim Chaffin and Jim Light and their wives included leadership in several non-profits and the creation of Community Fund.