A club with character | AspenTimes.com

A club with character

Dear Editor:Way back when, the Aspen Club & Spa had an idea. That idea was to make a series of improvements to the current facility. After much to-do about really nothing, they pulled their plans, regrouped and have now put together a new and improved project.Planning & Zoning is going to look at the new Aspen Club & Spa plans to renovate through updating and expanding the facility, and thus creating an amenity worthy of Aspen, its visitors and locals. The rumor is P&Z will welcome public comment March 4.The problem facing the Aspen Club is two-fold. First, to move forward they will need to build, to some degree, a new facility. Given that they are trying to work within the walls already in use as much as possible, the truth is they still will need to expand to some extent. The second hurdle, and its a big one, is the current city council seems to be on a no vote track when it comes to construction impact on the citizens, which to some degree they should be. The question is to what degree? To put the Aspen Club in the same box as Cooper Street, or the Weinerstube is unfair.The reason this project should go forward is also two-fold. First, it is not in the middle of town, therefore the impact on the town, visitors and locals only will be felt by those who use the facility which seems fair to me. The second reason a yes is in order we are losing amenities faster then presidential candidates dropped out of the 2008 race.The Aspen Club is an amenity the community cant afford to lose to another housing project. I am not suggesting council will not embrace the new proposal. What I am saying is that based on current actions, the Aspen Club could be doomed to a lack of understanding in respect to what it brings to the community. Not being able to relate to the business should not be the reason to vote against it.I would suggest City Council do some old fashion homework, visit the club, talk to the members and visitors and check in with the local nonprofits. The Aspen Club has been one of the best citizens in respect to supporting local charities over the years. If council does that, I think it will be difficult to vote no which it should be. While being a good citizen might not be a reason to vote yes it should at the very least be considered.Finally this thought. If character counts the Aspen Club has plenty of it.Andrew KoleAspen

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