More cars to Aspen? | AspenTimes.com

More cars to Aspen?

On my recent visit to Aspen, I noticed that the downtown Aspen mall was only partially completed. In the mid 1970s, I had the honor of serving as chair of the fledgling Aspen Mall Commission. It was during my tenure that the Mall Commission passed the long-term strategic plan for the Aspen mall, which would ultimately encompass eight or nine city blocks.

Phase I was successfully completed and includes the existing three blocks. Whatever happened to the second and third phases? Surely, 40 years is long enough to complete the full downtown Aspen mall as originally envisioned and approved by the Aspen Mall Commission!

An additional discussion making the rounds at that time was to temporarily remove the rugby pitch at Wagner Park, then construct a four-level underground parking structure beneath the park with an auto entrance from South Monarch Street. This would be similar to easy access, below-ground parking lots located throughout Switzerland and all over Europe. Once completed, the rugby pitch is reinstalled as it currently exists. The argument against this plan at the time was that improved parking options would attract more cars to Aspen. Go figure!

Grant Fiedler

Leysin, Switzerland