The saga of Lift 1A | AspenTimes.com

The saga of Lift 1A

Dear Editor:

It seems Aspen might have a new Fab Four emerging. I recently noticed that Toni, Susan, Phyllis and Junee have indirectly united in an effort to generate a no-vote from Mayor Mick in the hotly contested Lift 1A saga that is coming to an end (hopefully) on Jan. 14. It kind of reminds me of the TV movie “Rich Man, Poor Man” that launched Nick Nolte’s career.

Now the “girls” are taking advantage of the First Amendment (my favorite) to stop what they perceive is a travesty. To their credit, they have all participated, to different degrees, in the 27-week journey the COWOP took.

I’ll admit, at the beginning the COWOP was split about 50-50 on what the master plan for the area should look like. And, that the debate was fierce at times. But it is a fact when it was all over, 90 percent of the COWOP endorsed what City Council received.

What is also fact is that traffic and the size of the development are the hot buttons.

Also fact is the letters to the editor by the Fab Four have been a bit misleading when it comes to traffic. The number bandied about is 1,200 to 1,300 cars. Not true! The actual projected number is 500 to 600 vehicles. Of course after they arrive, they will leave. While it is still a formidable number, when broken down it is less than one car per minute over a 10-hour scenario. The vehicles represent cars going to both of the hotels, existing condominiums, delivery trucks, museum visitors, new brew pub customers, and individuals driving up to the top of the street for any number of reasons.

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When is comes to mass and size ” it is a big project. Councilman Steve and others would prefer small, mid-priced lodges. Sounds great ” except that is not what high-end resorts are building, or can afford to build. I wish they could.

I once said, “that when vision meets reality, the result is often chaos.” In this case, the vision of returning to an Aspen of 40 years ago butts its head with the reality of market demand and current financing challenges. This has resulted in “minor” chaos, created by those who’d like to really see nothing ever be built versus what the project developed through months of compromise has come to be.

While the COWOP has been characterized as “a failed science project,” and the members as bullied and unduly influenced participants, I’d like to suggest to the Fab Four and their friends that if the COWOP had come up with a decision which was in line with their feelings, we the COWOP would be considered “smarter then a fifth-grader.”

When I look back, I will remember the COWOP as a group of people who would probably not have been taking a cruise together prior to our meetings, and more importantly as a group of people who worked very hard to put together the “best” project they could.

As for me ” I think they succeeded.

Andrew Kole

COWOP member

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